The Buffalo Bills kept their playoff hopes alive by beating the two-win Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at New Era Field, 28-21. It was not pretty, but they all count the same.
Here's what people will be talking about this week:
I swear, I can't type that without hearing Jim Mora's voice.
But yes, the Bills are still alive for a wild-card berth. At 6-5, they're currently one game back of the final wild-card spot, though the Chiefs, Dolphins, Broncos and Steelers are all ahead.
The Bills can afford one loss at most the rest of the way and may need to win their final five games to qualify.
But still, if it feels unusual for the Bills have a winning record this late in the season, that's because it is. Since 2000, when the Bills' historic playoff drought began, the team has only had a winning record on Dec. 1 twice before, standing at 7-5 in 2000 and 2014.
What happened those years? The Bills proceeded to lose three straight December games in 2000, tanking their playoff hopes. In 2014, Doug Marrone's Bills lost to a two-win Raiders team in Week 16 that eliminated them from the playoffs.
Funny, where do the Bills play next week? Oakland, again. This year's Raiders are much better, though. They're tied with the Patriots for first in the AFC at 9-2.
Sammy Watkins' return
The Bills star receiver returned from injured reserve Sunday and reminded everyone just how talented he is, hauling in a 62-yard reception in the third quarter that set up a touchdown. He finished with three catches for 80 yards despite playing only 25 plays.
"Sammy Watkins didn't have any grand expectations for Sunday's game against the Jaguars," Jerry Sullivan wrote. And yet, he was still able to produce when the team needed him.
LeSean McCoy's big day
Every time LeSean McCoy does unbelievable things makes it that much more obvious how limited he was last season.
The Jaguars loaded the box to stuff McCoy early, and it was working. It took until his eighth carry – a 7-yard touchdown – to get into positive yardage. But McCoy took the first play of the second half 75 yards for a touchdown – the longest run of his career – and turned the game around.
The incredible run felt like being in a Mike Vick commercial, he told Tim Graham.
Douglas Charles Marrone
We called it Marrone Week, "celebrating" the return of former coach Doug Marrone, who took a $4 million opt-out in his contract after the 2014 season and bailed on the team. Remember that time he interrogated a reporter at an airport over tweets, or how he referred to himself as "Saint Doug"? Who could forget how he punted from the opponent's side of the field 39 times in 32 games?
Not Bills fans, who gave him a cold welcome to New Era Field.
— Thad Brown (@thadbrown7) November 27, 2016
Marrone, the Jags' O-line coach, doesn't have any play-calling responsibilities, though it was hard not the ponder the thought when a team with a 2-8 record punted on fourth and 1 in the fourth quarter of a one-score game. The Jaguars coaches got an F in Jay Skurski's report card.
The Tyrod Taylor-Charles Clay connection
Bills fans have been waiting all season for tight end Charles Clay to have a breakout game. He seems to be getting open, but Taylor isn't finding him. The quarterback stared down a wide-open Clay as he ran halfway across the field on one play in the second quarter, which actually gave the defender so much time to step up that he hit Clay early and got a pass interference penalty. Even with Watkins limited, Percy Harvin out with migraines and Robert Woods out with a knee injury, Tyrod only hit Clay twice for 17 yards.
Justin Hunter's unusual stat line
Justin Hunter may as well be the anti-Charles Clay. He seems to have Taylor's eye in the red zone, catching his fourth touchdown of the season for the game-winning score. He now has seven catches on the season – more for touchdowns (4) than not for touchdowns (3).
Ronald Darby's injury
The Bills cornerback suffered a concussion in the first quarter. He may or may not be able to play in this week's big game against the Raiders. The rest of the DBs played well in his absence, though, allowing Blake Bortles only seven completions to wide receivers.
Marcell Darues sitting out late
Hooray, Marcell Dareus is back!
Uh-oh, he’s hurt again.
Jay Skurski summed up Dareus' season perfectly. When Dareus is on the field, he's great, as evidenced by his eight-tackle, two-sack performance Sunday. But he was on the sideline late in the game, dealing with another injury that he hopes won't keep him out any longer.
Final word: Strangely, there were no field goal attempts in Sunday's game, which hadn't happened in almost a decade.
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) November 28, 2016