Good news for superstitious Bills fans: The last time the NFL had to use the obscure tiebreaker that allowed Buffalo to end its 17-year playoff drought this year – strength of victory, or the winning percentage of teams the Bills defeated – the beneficiary went on to win the Super Bowl.
“Strength of victory was last used in 2010 and has only come into play a handful of times since the league last updated its tiebreaking procedures after realigning the divisions in 2002, when the Texans entered the league,” Nick Veronica writes for BNblitz. “In 2010, strength of victory helped send the 10-6 Packers to the playoffs over the 10-6 Giants and Buccaneers; they went on to win the Super Bowl that year against the Steelers. The 2006 Giants also got a wild-card berth at 8-8 thanks to strength of victory, but lost in the wild-card round. The 2009 Patriots and 2003 Seahawks also used the tiebreaker, but those instances were to settle seeding with other playoff teams.”
LeSean McCoy reportedly a ‘game-time decision’: That’s according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported that it would be a “close call” whether the star running back would play or not against Jacksonville Sunday.
McCoy continued to struggle against the Dolphins before his injury Sunday, netting only 10 yards on 11 carries. But he still finished the regular season as Pro Football Focus’ sixth-highest graded running back.
Texans reportedly interested in Gaine: The Houston Chronicle reports that the Texans planned to interview Bills vice president of player personnel Brian Gaine for the team’s general manager vacancy.
The early forecast: Don Paul predicts a game temperature of 57 to 60 degrees, with likely dry weather, for Bills-Jags on Sunday.
“Let’s go, Buffalo” on the national news: “CBS Evening News” anchor Jeff Glor, a Bills fan with Tonawanda roots, signed off with the phrase “Let’s go, Buffalo” Tuesday night after interviewing Andy and Jordan Dalton about Bills fans’ donations to their foundation.
What Doug told Dareus: “I just told him to be smart,” Jaguars (and former Bills) head coach Doug Marrone told the media when asked about his advice for Marcell Dareus, the defensive tackle the Bills traded to Jacksonville earlier this season. “He’s the last one (in), he came from a trade. I just told him to be smart.”
Speaking of Dareus, the Jaguars’ playoff berth and Dareus’ remaining on the roster converts the sixth-round pick Jacksonville sent Buffalo into a fifth-round pick.
A place in Wade’s heart: Wade Phillips, the last coach to bring the Bills to the playoffs, tweeted congratulations to the team and its fans on Monday. The News’ Vic Carruci recalls how Phillips went into considerable detail in his book “Son of Bum” about the events leading up to the Bills’ wild-card game against Tennessee all those years ago.
Bills TV rating ties 2016: News TV critic Alan Pergament reports that the Bills’ 22-16 victory over Miami was the team’s second highest-rated game of the season. The matchup’s 43.1 rating bumped the average for the entire season up to 38.1, the same rating Buffalo averaged in 2016.
Advanced stats: Jerry Hughes busted out of his slump in the final regular-season game, recording seven quarterback pressures on 36 attempts rushing the passer. And E.J. Gaines was one of Pro Football Focus’ “elite” cornerbacks in Week 17.
Tre’Davious Tracker: White capped his rookie season with a solid outing against Miami.
T.O. is a Hall finalist again: Former wide receiver Terrell Owens, who spent one of his 15 NFL seasons with the Bills, is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the third time.
Voice of the Fan: All hell broke loose across Buffalo just before 5 p.m. EST on New Year’s Eve.
Listen: In the Daily Drive Podcast, Paul Peck and Kevin Sylvester from Buffalo Sports Page reflect on the Bills’ playoff berth, which is unfamiliar territory for many fans. And Maryvale High School graduate Bill Fichtner, whose acting career spans more than 30 years, joined the Bucky & Sully Show on 1270 The Fan Tuesday.
Poll: What’s the bigger miracle? The “Home Run Throwback,” or Andy Dalton’s pass to Tyler Boyd?
Trivia: Pins and needles, Part 2.