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The play that defines the Buffalo Bills’ 2017 season

We made it! Here it is, the play that defines the 2017 regular season.

Our journey to crown a single play to define the Buffalo Bills’ 2017 season has come to an end. Sixteen plays, each telling a story about a single regular season game, began this incredible competition and thanks to you, the reader (and voter), only one remains. Without further ado, we present your play to define 2017!

In the end, 63% of you (275 votes out of 437) decided that play deserved the privilege of being the one to represent the 2017 season. “Kyle Williams’ touchdown” went head to head with “34-yard pass from Joe Webb to Deonte Thompson in snowvertime” and emerged victorious. Both plays had steamrolled competition on the back of two very different perceptions of the 2017 season.

While the incredible Joe Webb toss against the Colts captured the feeling of “miracle” better than any other play in the competition, Kyle Williams won out by having a more complex story to tell.

On the surface, it’d be easy to suggest that Kyle Williams’ touchdown won because “hey, it has Kyle Williams.” Voters seemed attuned to the emotional aspect of all the plays and Williams did bring this home more concretely for many of you.

“We weren’t sure if that was Kyle’s last game or not,” user Buf_2305 stated. So for it to have that moment with a TD in the most meaningful game in the 17 year drought was, and of his career was special actually I can’t think of the words to describe it.”

Reading fan commentary throughout the competition, it was clear that there was more to this play’s dominance however.

A popular sentiment was how this play gave back to a team leader. By doing so, it stood as a symbol to the locker room and a testament to the culture that Sean McDermott strives to bring to Buffalo.

“The Kyle Williams play was a reward to a great leader,” said user Hornell Fred. “It was a good moment, it made a statement. For that reason, I think it was the play that stands out... The Kyle play call, was more than just another play. It was a statement to a team, by it’s coach. It was a thank you for sticking with him and his ‘process.’”

Alongside this sentiment from Fred and others was that the play represented the future of the team by demonstrating what to expect moving forward. The inclusion of Kyle Williams also becomes a passing of the torch.

It can’t be overlooked that many fans felt the defense was the strength of the Buffalo Bills in 2017. It’s hard to think of a better way to figuratively show the defense leading the way than to have the defense literally leading the way in front of the offense. When discussing the competition in its entirety, user VanScottM echoed these sentiments:

“It’s hard for me to pick a non-defensive play in any voting gif that would define the season.”

This quote from orangebills70 sums many of the voters’ thoughts up nicely:

“I think it shows the true outcome of the season: joyous team success pulled out of the doldrums of an epically bad three game skid. It reveals The Process as a team coming together into a sum greater than the individual parts.”

Congratulations, Kyle Williams’ touchdown, you are the fan-selected play that defines 2017!

On a personal note; I’d like to thank everyone who read, voted and lived this experience with me and the Buffalo Rumblings community. As we prepare for training camp and the 2018 Buffalo Bills’ I hope the “Plays that defined” series was a fitting send off to one hell of a season for Bills fans. Here’s to many more!