The Drought is Dead

December 31, 2017
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What you’re about to read began as a quasi live blog style piece that ended up getting derailed by the mayhem that ended ensuing as the Bills game in Miami wound down while the Bengals at Ravens lagged behind by a healthy 10 minutes or so.

The late afternoon got off to a good enough start. Tyrod Taylor found a wide open Nick O’Leary for a touchdown moments after the Bengals had found the end zone for an early 7-0 lead on the Ravens.

Side note, yes NFL play by play men, that is what “wide open” looks like. An open receiver on a slant who gets surrounded and tackled by three defenders is not “wide open’. He was open. The ball was thrown to him and he got tackled immediately. Please stop with the constant misuse of “wide open”. I’m looking at you Joe Buck and Jim Nantz.

As the first half rolled on in Miami and David Fales couldn’t really move the Dolphins offense at all, my attention really centered on the Bengals and Ravens. Baltimore barely crossed into Cincinnati territory the entire first half, punting from the Bengals 49 yard line on their first possession of the game then not crossing midfield again until they received the gift of a Joe Mixon fumble deep in Cincinnati territory and managed a field goal. Joe Flacco, the Baltimore quarterback, was 5/19 for 28 yards in the first half. The Ravens offense was a three and out machine. But before the half ended Baltimore got a long kick return after a Bengals field goal had made the score 17-3 and Flacco managed to find the end zone to make the score 17-10 Cincinnati at halftime.

With Tennessee up by 9 at halftime and the Chargers by 10, it looked likely that the Bengals would have to be our new favorite team for the rest of the day.

The second half began and before you could even settle in LeSean McCoy was on the back of a cart being driven to the locker room. McCoy got his right foot rolled up on and immediately looked to be in distress, ripping his helmet off and punching the turf. So now, in addition to losing our minds hoping for the Bills and Bengals to hang on so Buffalo can get in the playoffs, we get to worry about whether the Bills would have their best offensive player should they make it. Fun!

The Ravens came out of the locker room and immediately drove to the Bengals 27 yard line with a chance to tie their game while Kyle Williams was plowing into the end zone for a rushing touchdown to put the Bills up 19-0 in Miami.

Yes, you just read that. Kyle Williams got the handoff on first and goal from the 1 yard line following a pass interference penalty. Moments later Darqueze Dennard intercepted Joe Flacco and returned it 89 yards for a touchdown to put the Bengals up 24-10 not even halfway through the third quarter.

At this point it started to feel like I was having trouble breathing. That doesn’t get any better when the Ravens scored a touchdown on 4th and 3 at the Bengals 17 yard line to close the gap to 24-17. That game was running much slower than the Bills game and it was becoming very apparent that the Bills would be safely parking their win over the Dolphins in the garage and we’d be waiting out the end of the Bengals/Ravens game.

Then came a Baltimore field goal and then a Baltimore touchdown and for the first time all day the Ravens are leading the Bengals. The Bills game turned into a WWE affair after the Dolphins scored and some guys got thrown out. Look, I’m not going to lie to you, the Bengals game had all of my attention at this point and I’m not really sure what happened but of course Jarvis Landry was in the middle of it.

The Bills close their game out and the post game show begins and everything is hanging on the Bengals. Down by 3, Cincinnati moves to near midfield but they’re stalling. I’m talking on the radio, trying not to just do play by play as first, second and third down all come and go. Now it’s 4th and 12 at the Baltimore 48 yard line with little more than a minute to go and c’mon you stupid Bengals I’ll settle for a freaking field goal. But instead it’s a pretty long pass and it’s complete. Tyler Boyd is running through the Ravens and he is going to score and oh my he scored. The Bengals are going to beat the Ravens. That just happened.

The Bills are in the playoffs.

The drought is dead.

I can hardly believe the way that went down.

Did I mention that the drought is dead?

What an awesome night. Happy New Year Bills fans. Heal up LeSean McCoy. The Bills are in the playoffs and they really need you.