In early 2020, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said the team’s goal was to host a championship game.
Mission accomplished.The bills won their first AFC East title since 1995 with a 48-19 victory on Saturday at the Denver Broncos, locking in a second straight relegation spot as well as a home championship in January.
“I’m just grateful and I’m excited fans,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “It’s just such a neat place to be a part of people’s work ethic and the nature of people in Buffalo. I humiliate myself by being just one part of it, honestly. “
“Buffalo has been waiting for this for 25 years. It’s just special,” Bills left the attack, Dion Dawkins said. “If I could explain it, it’s just an inexplicable feeling. “
The title of the division is the latest milestone in Buffalo’s turn, led by Beane and McDermott, which led the team to the playoffs in three of their first four seasons. Both Beane and McDermott were given a multi-year contract extension in August, when the former credited the opportunity to re-establish the importance of franchising as one of the crucial factors in his tenure.
‘This community and this team had such a great tradition in the late 80s and early 90s, insofar as it fell in the 21st century until Sean and I got here, I found it exciting. said Beane.
“This was an opportunity in a place that has gone on for so long, has had such a good tradition and still has a big fan. How exciting would it be for this thing to turn around and hold championships here?” This is Sean. and I will; we want to win the AFC East so we can host games here. That was the goal all the time. “
Organizing championships is a goal McDermott has preached since its 2017 debut season. After a few joker entries in 2017 and 2019, players are sure to meet their coach’s most common goals.
“It feels amazing. Just hearing him talk about it in 2017 and leading us to the playoffs was amazing,” said defending head Jerry Hughes, the longest-serving player on the Bills list. ‘We knew we had the right guy in the building.
“It was a fun trip, watching how Sean influenced this organization. “
Buffalo won the title behind MVP candidate Josh Allen’s second main performance, which threw 359 yards and made four touches – two on the ground and through the air.
His favorite target was the wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who continued to reach new heights in the first season with the team. A week after he had set his career high in the arriving yards, Diggs placed another at the receptions, and he broke Eric Molds ’franchise record catch in one season.
Diggs placed 147 yards in 11 prey before leaving with a foot injury. According to the source, his injury was irrelevant. Diggs now has 111 catches at 1,314 yards during the season.
The 25-year division’s drought was the third longest in the NFL. Led by Hall of Fame player Jim Kelly, these 1995 bills were removed in just two years from four direct trips to the Super Bowl.
But many of Bills ’best players in 2020 were either not born or were too young to remember 1990s teams, including Allen, defender Tremaine Edmunds and corner Tre’Davious White.
There are stories from past Buffalo teams with the very current version: stories. And while McDermott tells his team that its predecessors have laid a solid foundation, it’s time for these bills to set up their own.
‘The history of Buffalo Bills is great, but the team we have now – we have nothing to do with what happened (in the past),” White said. “Let’s make a fate. Let’s make our own story. Let’s make our own story. Let’s be the next team to go four straight to the Super Bowl. Let’s win one. Let’s be the team that will eventually raise Buffalo and win one for the city.
“This team is on a mission here. I feel it. “
After the game, players wore shirts that read ode ‘NOT READY,” an ode for achieving one goal, focusing on the next.
Allen said the division’s title ‘feels very good,” but it was more of a means to an end than a goal. The quarterback said taking the division’s crown and winning the home championship game makes the bigger goal of winning the Super Bowl more affordable.
“That’s not our main goal. We’re working to do this to get a chance to do what we really want to do, and it will win the Super Bowl championship,” Allen said. “Everything is still in front of us. This just gives us a chance to give ourselves a shot. That’s all we can ask for. “
While fans didn’t get into Bills Stadium throughout the season as part of the Erie County COVID-19 protocol, Buffalo remained, as always, during the team’s best season in 25 years.
Fans flew a flag with a support message over the stadium before Bills hosted Los Angeles Rams Week in Week 3, and at least one former player is excited about one of the league’s most tortured fans.
‘It looks like a university atmosphere,” said Cornelius Bennett, a former Bills defender. “I didn’t miss it when I went from the University of Alabama fan base to the Buffalo Bills fan base. It was terrible. And it still exists.
“I’ve been a bit involved, and I do not compare it to anything else. “
Bennett, who is a finalist in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021, said he met fans recently and was ecstatic not only about the possibility of bills in the division but also the fact that the defending New England Patriots AFC East champion dropped the run from four games left.
Hundreds of Bills fans, many of whom wore masks, waited for the team at Buffalo-Niagara Airport early Sunday morning as the team landed just before 1:30 p. m.