If we were talking about a Buffalo Bills win over the Oakland Raiders right now, we'd be sugarcoating the details as an excited segue into a Week 17 showdown with New England - because the Bills got a lot of help around the league today, and would have had a legitimate shot at the postseason.
But we're not talking about a Bills win over the Raiders, because they're the Bills. Nope. Instead, the Bills lost to the Raiders, 26-24, and have been officially eliminated from post season contention. Week 17 will bring yet another utterly meaningless Foxboro finale for this franchise. Ready?
To be sure, the Bills had opportunities to eke out a win, despite the fact that they played like garbage throughout most of the afternoon. In fact, the Bills were trailing 19-17 with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, facing a 4th and 1 near midfield, but Doug Marrone opted to punt. (Of course he did.) Then, three minutes later, with Oakland facing a 3rd and 22, Buffalo's venerable pass defense was beaten deep by Andre Holmes for a psyche-crushing conversion. (Of course they did.) The Raiders went on to score, a last-gasp comeback attempt fell flat, and the Bills' season was caput.
Buffalo is 8-7. New England is 12-3, and if Denver wins on Monday Night Football, they'll be playing for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. They meet next weekend in a stadium that the Bills have never won in. Here comes .500 and the offseason.