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The Bengals sent the Bills to the playoffs, plus 6 things we loved from Week 17 in the NFL

A lot of players got hit in the face.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year! The Buffalo Bills are in the postseason.

Last time you, I, or anybody else could say that (1999), life was a lot different. We were still using dial-up internet, Bill Clinton was president, the West Nile Virus first appeared in the United States, and most importantly — the show SpongeBob SquarePants would make its debut in May.

The Bills needed two things to happen on Sunday to break the drought. They had to win — which they did in a 22-16 defeat of the Dolphins. But they also needed the Bengals to beat the Ravens, and for a while it looked like it was going to happen easily when Cincinnati was up 17-3. Then the Ravens grabbed a late lead at 27-24.

Faced with a fourth-and-12, Andy Dalton threw a bullet to Tyler Boyd with less than a minute to go. He took it 49 yards to send the Bills to the postseason:

I could try to describe what this means to Bills fans or the city of Buffalo, but that wouldn’t be right. I’ll let their fans do that for me:

If that roar doesn’t send chills down your spine, nothing will. That’s the sweet, sweet song of triumph. That triumph has been held inside for a long time now, and it finally spilled all over the place.

The Ravens have now missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season. All they needed was a win.

Joe Flacco had the worst season of his career since his rookie season, and it wasn’t close. It’s too bad that the Ravens couldn’t give anybody a look to try and salvage the season.

I mean, I guess it’s fine. I really can’t think of another quarterback who could have possibly helped them. Not one. Nope. Zero.

Here’s what else we loved in Week 17.

Man takes pants off on the field of play

If I told you that the NFL season was going to conclude with a 13-2 Eagles team facing an 8-7 Cowboys team, you would have been surprised. You would have been shocked had I told you the Eagles punter was going to take his pants off in the middle of the field.

That’s what Donnie Jones did when he accidentally took the field with just over five minutes to go in the first half to try to pin the Cowboys deep in their own territory.

Not exactly routine stuff here:

It’s not often you get to see somebody take his pants off on the field. Typically when that happens on the field, it’s followed by the police tackling the offender.

The Bears fooled everybody

One of the best plays in football is this trick punt return the Bears pulled off against the Vikings.

Tarik Cohen pretended like the Vikings’ punt was heading his direction, while the ball actually went to Bryce Callahan on the other side of the field. From there, the Bears got the easiest touchdown they had all season:

It would be the Bears’ only touchdown of the afternoon in their 23-10 loss to the Vikings. But when you execute that play so perfectly, it’s worth acknowledging.

Alvin Kamara ran into 2018 before any of us could

Alvin Kamara seems to be the clear pick for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, but this special teams play was devastating to the Bucs.

Kamara fielded the football 6 yards in his own end zone, before briefly appearing to walk it out, fake a knee, and take off for 106 yards and the touchdown:

IN THE FAAAAAAAACE!

The Jets didn’t win their game against the Patriots, but they had the best moment.

Robby Anderson spiked the football after a reception, and it just so happened to hit Johnson Bademosi straight in the chin:

Bademosi’s acting job (a bad one) got a lot of laughs, but we can’t let that take away from the perfect spike by Anderson. That’s something that only happens in a cartoon or a bad football comedy movie.

ANOTHER ONE

The Chargers were wrapping up their season in Los Angeles against the Raiders with hopes of securing a postseason berth.

Tied at 7-7, the Chargers were looking to take a lead with a field goal, when Nick Rose’s kick went straight into the facemask of Justin Ellis:

That would have been BRUTAL had he been playing back in the day with no facemasks. Just looking at the impact even makes me shiver.

OK WAIT ONE MORE LOL

Last week was all about butts, and this week is all about faces.

Butt face.

OTHER THINGS FROM WEEK 17

Sunday scores

Cardinals 26, Seahawks 24

Packers 11, Lions 35

Texans 13, Colts 22

Jets 6, Patriots 26

Bengals 31, Ravens 27

Panthers 10, Falcons 22

Bills 22, Dolphins 16

Bears 10, Vikings 23

Washington 10, Giants 18

Cowboys 6, Eagles 0

Browns 24, Steelers 28

Chiefs 27, Broncos 24

Jaguars 10, Titans 15

Wild Card Weekend schedule

Saturday

No. 5 Titans vs. No. 4 Chiefs, 4:30 p.m. ET ESPN
No. 6 Falcons at No. 3 Rams, 8:15 p.m. ET NBC

Sunday

No. 6 Bills vs. No. 3 Jaguars 1:00 p.m. ET CBS
No. 5 Panthers at No. 4 New Orleans, 4:30 p.m. ET FOX


History is against the Vikings making the Super Bowl