MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Here's a breakdown of the Buffalo Bills' 22-16 victory against the Miami Dolphins Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium ... and the end of the team's playoff drought.
It's over! After 17 years, the dreaded playoff drought is a thing of the past. The Bills' win, coupled with the Baltimore Ravens' 31-27 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, gave Buffalo a wild-card playoff spot at 9-7.
The Bills really had no business losing, considering they spent most of the game facing Dolphins backup quarterback David Fales. Jay Cutler started the game, but after the Dolphins went three-and-out on their first offensive series, Fales took over the rest of the way. The three plays figure to be the last of Cutler's time with the Dolphins. He was pulled out of retirement after Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury in August.
McCoy hurting: Early in the second half, Bills running back LeSean McCoy suffered an ankle injury that required him to ride off the field on the back of a cart because he nearly fell over after trying to put weight on it. He did not return to the game.
Marcus Murphy and Mike Tolbert shared carries the rest of the way.
Clay hits 500, again: Charles Clay became the first Bills tight end with three consecutive seasons with 500 receiving yards.
Tate hits 200 mark: Brandon Tate became the 42nd player in NFL history to hit the 200-career-punt-return mark. He joined Darren Sproles, Ted Ginn Jr., and Marcus Sherels as only the fourth active player to achieve the feat.
Counting the house: The Dolphins announced that 65,571 tickets were distributed. But not surprisingly, there were many empty seats. A losing team hosting a New Year's Eve game starting late in the afternoon isn't going to draw too many people. Especially with nice weather giving the locals so many better ways to spend the rest of the day before ringing in the new year.
There were pockets of Bills fans who were pretty vocal when the Bills scored.
Up next: A playoff game? I can't believe I just typed that. But it's true. The Bills are finally, finally headed to the postseason.