As the NFL celebrates 100 years of football during the 2019 season, the league has designated 17 match-ups (one for every week of the regular season) as landmark games, clashes with historical context that honor the league’s rich and storied history.
Buffalo Bills fans won’t be too pleased with their favorite team’s placement in the rundown, as the Bills’ Week 5 trip south to face the Tennessee Titans was selected as one of these 17 “landmark games.”
Why was the Bills/Titans clash selected as one of the 17 landmark matchups during the regular season? According to NFL.com:
“Buffalo and Tennessee captivated audiences with the Music City Miracle in the 1999 playoffs. With 16 seconds remaining in the game and the Titans facing a 16-15 deficit, fullback Lorenzo Neal fielded a short kickoff, made a move to his right, and then handed the ball off to tight end Frank Wychek. The tight end took a few steps to his right before stopping, and then turned his body to the left and threw a lateral across the field to an uncovered wide receiver Kevin Dyson, who raced 75 yards down the left sideline untouched for the game-winning touchdown.”
While the above statement is technically correct, the author conveniently leaves out the fact that Wycheck’s toss to Dyson was clearly an illegal forward pass. (I don’t care what replay said at the time, the ball traveled forward once it left Wycheck’s hands at the 20-yard line until it settled into Dyson’s arms at the 21-yard line.)
The play, which came immediately after Steve Christie booted a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo ahead 16-15, ended the Bills’ season in the harshest of fashions. The Titans, meanwhile, wound up representing the AFC in the Super Bowl before suffering their own cruel ending when Dyson was tackled one yard short of the end zone as the clock hit all zeroes.
Interestingly enough, only 21 of the 32 teams will be featured as a “landmark game” this season.