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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Party like it's 1999

The drought is over. Drink it in. The Bills rang in a new year by celebrating their first playoff berth in 18 years after winning in Miami and getting a needed assist from the Bengals.

"It's surreal but true," Jerry Sullivan writes. "After 17 excruciating years, the longest playoff drought in major professional sports is over. The Bills beat the odds, which said they had a 17-22 percent chance to get in on the final day. They play at Jacksonville in a wild-card matchup against former Bills coach Doug Marrone. Of course. What could be more surreal than facing Marrone in the playoffs?"

Emotional Ride: "There was a lot of praying and hand-holding. Sweat mixed with tears. Joy and anxiety were being woven together as the drama continue to build," Vic Carucci recreates the scene as the Bills watched their playoff fate unfold.

Watch: Bills players in the visitor's locker room and fans in the concourse at Hard Rock Stadium celebrate Cincinnati's improbable touchdown. Related: The Bengals score, with the Titanic movie score.

Fandemonium: Stunned and ecstatic fans flocked to greet the Bills at the airport.

Tim Graham: A minute-by-minute review of how the Bills ended their 17-year playoff drought

Bucky Gleason: With a little help from their friends, Bills finally break through


A Happy Obituary: Ding, dong The Drought is dead. By Mark Gaughan.

Mark Gaughan's 10 Plays That Shaped The Game: Nick O'Leary's early TD put the Bills in control from the start.

Matchup Winners: Tyrod Taylor torments the Dolphins again.

Vic Carucci's Points After: "A playoff game? I can't believe I just typed that. But it's true."

Jay Skurski's Report Card: Taylor delivers, secondary seals the win. Related: Jay's 10 observations.

Some Bad News: The Bills may have to go into their playoff game without LeSean McCoy, who was carted off the field with an ankle injury. Also, recovering onside kicks is a problem.

Savor The Victory: Quarterly analysis — 1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th

Watch: Kyle Williams scores his first career touchdown on his way to his first career postseason appearance.

Trending Topic: Twitter reactions to the Bills' playoff return.

Thank you, Bengals: Sean McDermott expressed his gratitude in his press conference and the Bills are sending wings to Cincinnati, according to the team's official Twitter feed.

Eric Wood's Moment: The team he grew up rooting for came through for the Bills lineman, who will play in the postseason for the first time in his nine-year career.

Watch: Our team's takeaway from the memorable day.

Schedule Set: Game time is 1 p.m. Sunday in Jacksonville. The game will air on CBS. opened the Bills as a 7.5-point underdogs against the Jaguars.

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