BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
If you follow the Buffalo Bills and have a Twitter account, you’ve seen the hashtag.
The hashtag is meant to be a playful jab at Buffalo’s bad luck, but at times it’s also painful.
It’s a hashtag that defines Buffalo’s play over the 21st century. The Bills have had one winning season during this time period and zero playoff appearances. Besides the 2004-2005 season, when they finished the season 9-7, the Bills truly haven’t been in playoff contention towards the end of the regular season.
#BecauseItsBuffalo is a reminder of all the things that have gone terribly wrong for the Bills in the 21st century.
The silver lining is that someday, hopefully soon, the Buffalo Bills should turn it around.
Before we start looking forward to future victories, we need to look at the defeats. Without any further ado, here are seven, yes seven, of the Bills’ most ridiculous #BecauseItsBuffalo losses of the 21st century.
Just One Before I Die. Isn’t this how we all feel as Bills fans?
The shirt made me think of a quote by the late Malcolm Forbes:
Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.
If there is one thing Bills fans know, it’s defeat. The Super Bowl losses still sting. The Music City Miracle? Brutal. This century hasn’t given Bills fans any games of that magnitude, but we’ve still had our fair share of heartbreak.
7. Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals, Week 4, 2011 Season: Bengals 23, Bills 20
Buffalo was 3-0 and was actually the last undefeated team in the AFC. The Bills headed to Paul Brown Stadium to play the Bengals, led by rookie quarterback Andy Dalton.
At halftime, Buffalo led 17-3. Here we go to 4-0!
In the third quarter, Buffalo gave up 10 points, and suddenly the lead dropped to 17-13. Suddenly, I felt nervous. Buffalo was struggling to stop Cincinnati.
The Bills got on the board first in the fourth quarter with a field goal, and went up 20-13.
Buffalo had the ball with less than nine minutes remaining. It was 3rd & 1 and in truth, Buffalo should have run the ball. Instead, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Stevie Johnson for what should have been a completion. FIRST DOWN!
But the pass was called incomplete. Buffalo quickly threw the challenge flag and upon viewing the replay, I remember saying over and over again, “That was a catch.”
Upon review, the referees said that the ruling on the field would stand #BecauseItsBuffalo.
Incomplete pass. Buffalo punted and four minutes later, Dalton ran for a three-yard touchdown.
The game was tied, and Buffalo responded with only a quick series and punt.
With four seconds remaining in the game, Mike Nugent hit a 43-yard field goal to seal the win for the Bengals. Buffalo suffered their first loss of the season. After a 3-0 start, the Bills would only win three games the remainder of the season.
6. Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos, Week 1, 2007 Season: Broncos 15, Bills 14
Buffalo was coming off of a 7-9 season in 2006, so when 2007 rolled around there was reason for genuine optimism. Our first opponent? The Denver Broncos.
I almost didn’t include this game because of the spinal injury that occurred to Kevin Everett. To start the second half, Kevin Everett made a special teams tackle of Domenik Hixon. The tackle knocked Everett out and he sustained a spinal injury which endangered his life and ability to walk.
I’ve seen enough sports movies in my lifetime. When someone gets hurt, the team responds, pulls through and earns the victory in their honor. The Bills held a 14-6 lead late in the third quarter when Denver struck with a five-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall. Cutler’s two-point conversion pass attempt to Javon Walker, however, fell incomplete, so Buffalo was still up 14-12.
Jason Elam had a chance to take the lead for the Broncos in the fourth quarter, but missed a 43-yard field goal with a little over three-and-a-half minutes remaining. It was his second missed field goal of the day.
The Bills were destined to win after Elam’s miss, right?
Buffalo went three-and-out and gave the ball to the Broncos. Denver faced a 3rd-and-23 during the drive, but converted when Cutler threw a 21-yard pass to Javon Walker and then scrambled for seven yards on 4th-and-2. With little time left and no timeouts, Cutler hit Walker for an 11-yard gain. Walker did not get out of bounds and there were 14 seconds left on the clock.
14, 13, 12, 11. It was a mad scramble. The Broncos offense was racing off the field.
10, 9, 8, 7. The special teams unit came onto the field frantically.
They’re going to run out of time!
6, 5, 4, 3, 2… No, they’re lined up.
With one second to go the snap went back to placeholder Todd Sauerbrun, and #BecauseItsBuffalo, he lined up a 42-yard field goal which Elam hit to end the game.