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Bills reverse tank talk by ending 17-year playoff drought
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Posted on: 04 January 2018 09:43 AM

It took four months and a dramatic turn of events on one of the final plays of the NFL's regular season for coach Sean McDermott and the Buffalo Bills to finally — and succinctly — put to rest any suggestion the team had any intention of tanking last summer.

" McDermott said,"I'll let you guys handle that, referring to reporters on Monday. "We're moving on after today to the first round of the playoffs."

And that's all that matters to the first-year coach, who took the high road rather than an "I told you so" approach some 18 hours after the Bills clinched the AFC's sixth and final playoff berth and ended a 17-year postseason drought — the longest in North America's four major professional sports.

McDermott never gave into the doubters and instead preached a simple "Trust The Process" message that resonated with his players.

and it's going to test your mental toughness,"It's going to try to pull you apart. It's going to test you," he added. "And our players hung in there."

as 17 of Buffalo's preceding teams did on the day after the regular-season finale,Rather than packing up, these Bills returned home to a jubilant reception early Monday.

They were greeted at Buffalo Niagara International Airport by some 400 chanting fans , who braved 2-degree temperatures after Buffalo beat Miami 22-16 and clinched its playoff berth once Baltimore gave up a last-minute touchdown in a 31-27 loss to Cincinnati.

McDermott is even considering sending the Bengals a gift — chicken wings, perhaps — as a thank you for Andy Dalton hitting Tyler Boyd for a 49-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-12 with 44 seconds left.

And now, Buffalo (9-7) is moving on in preparing to play at AFC South champion Jacksonville (10-6) on Sunday.

McDermott rewarded his players by giving them the next two days off, before the team returns to practice Wednesday.

Buffalo overcame exceedingly low expectations following a major yearlong roster overhaul which led to the departures of numerous high-priced stars.

Among the players traded were receiver Sammy Watkins (to the Los Angeles Rams) and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (Jacksonville).

The Bills' secondary was retooled as was their group of receivers, leaving the team to open the season with 24 holdovers from 2016.

On the field,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/c.j.-anderson-jersey-authentic]Authentic C.J. Anderson Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, the Bills overcame the elements by beating Indianapolis 13-7 in overtime amid white-out conditions on Dec. 10.

And the team failed to unravel when McDermott's decision to start Nathan Peterman backfired after the rookie quarterback threw five interceptions in the first half of a 54-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 19.

Buffalo could face even more adversity with running back LeSean McCoy's status uncertain after hurting his right ankle against Miami.

What stood out to McDermott was how the Bills responded to the loss to the Chargers the following week by snapping a three-game skid with a 16-10 win at Kansas City.

that was probably one of them,"If you're going to put a landmark moment for this first year," he said of a win that improved Buffalo's record to 6-5.

"That goes back to the resiliency of this football team and really what this city is all about ... that no matter what people say about us,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/matt-paradis-jersey-authentic]Authentic Matt Paradis Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, we're going to compete like crazy."

McDermott needed no more validation of how his team has captured the imagination of its supporters than witnessing the scene at the airport. Fans waved Bills flags and placards, sang the team's "Shout!" song and chanted "Let's Go Buffalo."

and that was unmatched,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/shelby-harris-jersey-authentic]Authentic Shelby Harris Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link,"I've been around a couple of playoffs or two in my 20 years around the NFL," he said. "This type of welcome home just speaks volumes about our city and our fans."

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said the staff and players couldn't initially see the fans while de-boarding the plane, but could hear them.

" Frazier said. "It just pushes you on to want to keep it going and just show them how much we appreciate their support.",[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/shaquil-barrett-jersey-authentic]Authentic Shaquil Barrett Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, 'This is incredible.' It just kind of brings home what this means to Buffalo,"We were like, to western New York

Bills coach Sean McDermott said the team would “take it one day at a time” with McCoy,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/menelik-watson-jersey-authentic]Authentic Menelik Watson Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, who was carted off the field after injuring his right ankle during the third quarter of a win over Miami in Week 17.

” McDermott said. “He’s hard at work,“He’s a fierce competitor, maximizing the treatment opportunities to get himself to where he can play.”

Buffalo received good news when X-rays on McCoy’s injured ankle came back negative, but it’s clear the 29-year-old running back will not be fully healthy if he is active for the game.

138 rushing yards,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/ronald-leary-jersey-authentic]Authentic Ronald Leary Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link,That’s a major blow to a Bills offense that is centered around his talents. McCoy was fourth in the league during the regular season with 1, adding 448 receiving yards on a team-best 59 catches.

so I just hope he can give their team a chance.”,” Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. “I hope they have a healthy [McCoy] so we can get their best team. I hope he can play. It’s been a long time [between playoff appearances] for them,“He’s a dynamic back that hits the holes and can bounce the rock and knows how to read his blocks, too

Buffalo’s top options behind McCoy are veteran Mike Tolbert and Marcus Murphy, who was signed to the active roster in late December and ran seven times for 41 yards against the Dolphins.

“You never replace a player like LeSean,” McDermott said.

Receiver Marqise Lee (ankle), tight end Marcedes Lewis (ankle) and linebacker Donald Payne (quad) did not practice Wednesday.

Lee has missed two consecutive games and did light straight-line jogging on the side during the media viewing period. Lewis finished the Tennessee game after getting his ankle twisted by Titans strong safety Johnathan Cyprien.

” Lee said. “Slow process. My thing is I have to understand my injury and take my time as far as getting back. I do not want to hurt the team,“I’m doing as much as I can to get back, and that’s the biggest thing for me.”

” for him playing Sunday., who missed the Titans game,Left tackle Cam Robinson (abdomen), did limited practice work. He said “all signs are good

“[Sitting out last week] was something we agreed on and it was what was needed,” Robinson said.

Lewis said he will be “fine,” to face Buffalo.

I had a little situation [with Cyprien] that was some [garbage],“Obviously,” Lewis said. “I took it light [Wednesday] and ran a little bit.”

Nose tackle Abry Jones (back) did limited work after missing all of last week.

Because of the rain and temperatures in the 30s,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/chris-harris-jr-jersey-authentic]Womens Chris Harris Jr Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link, the Jaguars practiced indoors.

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey tried to walk back from comments he made Tuesday on a Nashville radio station about Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.

he’s going to choke.”, Casey said: “As long as Bortles is back there,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/c.j.-anderson-jersey-authentic]Womens C.J. Anderson Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link,Appearing on 104.5 The Zone, if the ballgame is in his hands

some QBs will choke.”, Casey said on Twitter: “Chill,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/matt-paradis-jersey-authentic]Womens Matt Paradis Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link,On Wednesday morning, y’all. I was just hyping our defense. If we put the pressure

Bortles threw one touchdown and four interceptions,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/shelby-harris-jersey-authentic]Womens Shelby Harris Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link,In two losses to Tennessee this year, including two picks in Sunday’s 15-10 loss that allowed the Titans to clinch an AFC wild card berth and a trip Saturday to Kansas City.

Former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli was named Tuesday night as one of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

“It’s a huge honor,” Boselli said Wednesday. “You look at the guys on the list – all great players. It’s a great honor and we’ll see where it goes.”

Boselli is a finalist for the second consecutive year. The class will be announced on Feb. 3.

“I have no control over it,[url=http://www.broncosfootballauthentic.com/shaquil-barrett-jersey-authentic]Womens Shaquil Barrett Jersey" class="text_2_css">URL Link,” Boselli said. “Those guys who vote are great and they’ll do their homework. They have a tough decision [with] 14 other guys who deserve to be in there and in my opinion are all great players. I would hate to be one of those voters trying to figure out who to put in.”

Owner Shad Khan and the Jaguars Foundation announced Wednesday the team has donated 1,000 tickets for Sunday’s game – 500 apiece to refugees from around the world who have settled in the Jacksonville area and to Puerto Ricans and their families who have been displaced and currently reside in the north and central Florida.

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The Jaguars will also provide 1,500 tickets to local military members at a subsidized cost of $20 per ticket. The USO helped the Jaguars distribute the tickets.

” Khan said in a statement., across all spectrums,“The Jaguars’ first home playoff appearance in a very long time is an event that should be shared with as many people as possible, who call Jacksonville their home

” of tickets and 400 standing-room tickets for Sunday’s game will go on sale to the general public Thursday at 3 p.m. at www.jaguars.com/playoffs. It includes the inventory returned to the team by the NFL,The Jaguars announced Wednesday night that “a limited amount, the Bills and player families. There is a two-ticket limit for customers.

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