Thanks to the Bengals for Ending the Playoff Drought
The way things have been going the last 5 seasons for the Buffalo Bills, it's almost possible to wipe the prior 17 years from our minds...Almost. In fact, there is a new 17 that seems to be on most Bills fans' minds these days. We all know what happened after that playoff game in Nashville all those years ago. 17 years of not-so-good times set in like a band of Lake Effect Snow over Western New York.
But then, on a cold New Years' Eve in Baltimore, a last-second miracle from the arm of Andy Dalton sent Buffalo into the postseason for the first time in 17 years. I still remember running outside of 716 Sports Bar downtown, and just hearing the roar of ecstatic fans yelling and echoing through the streets of downtown. The Drought was officially over thanks to Bills Mafia trusting the process, and a little help from the Bengals.
Looking back now at the drought years, it does make you realize that there were some really good players, on some not-so-good teams. We decided to dive a little deeper into the 2000-2017 Buffalo Bills and now present you with our list of the 17 best Buffalo Bills from the 17-year drought.
17. Boobie Dixon (2014-2016) - Although his time in Buffalo was short Anthony Dixon's nickname of "Boobie" alone was enough to land him on this list. Plus he had his best season while a bill, setting career highs in rushing attempts (105), rushing yards (432), and average yards per rush.
Anthony "Boobie" Dixon (2014-2016)
16. Pat Williams (1997 - 2004) - A starter on the Bills D line from 2001-2004, Williams was named to USA Today’s All-Joe Team in 2000, recognizing the NFL’s most "overlooked, ignored and hard-working" players.
Pat Williams (1997 - 2004)
15. Antoine Winfield (1999-2003) - A former 1st round pick, Winfield starred for the Bills secondary for 5 seasons, and had a career year in 2003 with 107 combined tackles (92 solo), 11 pass deflections, two forced fumbles, one sack, and an interception.
Antoine Winfield (1999-2003)
14. Takeo Spikes (2003-2007) - After leaving the Beglas to sign with the Bills, Spikes spent 5 seasons in Orchard Park, post a career year in 2003 with 126 tackles, with the addition of a pair of sacks, a pair of interceptions, and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Takeo Spikes (2003-2007)
13. Aaron Schobel (2001-2009) - The Defensive End spent his entire 9 year NFL career with the Bills, playing in 116 games, and racking up 10 sacks in his final season in 2009.
Aaron Schobel (2001-2009)
12. Rian Lindell (2003-2012) - Signed as a free agent from The Seattle Seahawks, Lindell left the Bills the most accurate field goal kicker (83.3%), and second in franchise history in scoring (979)
Rian Lindell (2003-2012)
11. Terrence McGee (2003-2012) - A 2 x NFL All-Pro, and 1 x Pro Bowler, McGee was primarily known for his skills as a kick returner, setting Bills records for; most career kickoff return yards (5,450), most career kickoff return touchdowns (5), and the Longest Kickoff return touchdown: 104 yards
Terrence McGee (2003-2012)
10. Lee Evans (2004-2010) - the 13th pick in the 2004 draft by The Bills, Evans finished his Buffalo career with the third-most receiving yards (5,934) and touchdowns (43) in franchise history.
Lee Evans (2004-2010)
9. Ruben Brown (1995-2003) - Brown spent nine years as an anchor on the Offensive line for the Bills, appearing in eight consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 1996 to 2003.
Ruben Brown (1995-2003)
8. Eric Moulds (1996-2005) - One of the top receivers in the NFL during his time in Buffalo, Moulds racked up 764 career receptions and was selected to three Pro-Bowls while with the Bills.
Eric Moulds (1996-2005)
7. Stevie Johnson (2008-2013) - Back-to-back WR's on the list. Johnson posted three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2010, 2011, and 2012, becoming the first WR in Bills history to accomplish the feat.
Stevie Johnson (2008-2013)
6. London Fletcher (2002-2006) - Another player, with a killer nickname, "Werewolves of" London Fletcher stared for the Bills for 5 seasons, after signing as a free agent from the Rams. Fletcher set a career-high for himself as well as a franchise record with 209 tackles in his first season in Buffalo.
5. Eric Wood (2009-2017) - Another hog makes the list. Wood spent his entire 9-year career with the Bills, being named to the Pro-Bowl in 2009. In 2015 Wood was one of the 32 players honored as the Bills' Man of the Year. He now works in the Bills radio booth alongside John Murphy.
4. Brian Moorman (2001-2012 & 2013-2014) - The punter, and fan favorite, had two separate stints with the Bills. He averaged an impressive 46.6 yards per punt in Orchard Park. Moorman announced his retirement through a letter to the city of Buffalo, having never played in a post-season game in his 16-year career.
Brian Moorman (2001-2012 & 2013-2014)
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick (2009-2012) - One of the few players from the drought era that is still active, Fitz has now played for 9 NFL teams, including 4 seasons as the starting QB in Buffalo. "Fitzmagic" instantly became a fan favorite when he took over for the injured Trent Edwards and lead the Bills to an OT win over the Jets.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2009-2012)
2. Kyle Williams (2006-2018) - A 5th round draft pick, Williams went on to have a stellar career with the Bills, being named to the Pro-Bowl 6 times. On the final play of his NFL regular-season career, he lined up as an extra fullback on offense and caught a pass, and even picked up 9 yards. Williams was able to be one of the long-suffering drought players who got to taste the playoffs, as he made his playoff debut in the Bills' 10–3 loss at the Jacksonville in the AFC Wildcard Game.
Kyle Williams (2006-2018)
1. Fred Jackson (2006-2014) - One of the longest-suffering players of the drought era, Jackson spent 9 seasons with The Bills. He became the first player in NFL history to compile 1,000 rushing and 1,000 kickoff return yards in a season (2009). Going undrafted, he earned $200 a week playing for the Sioux City Bandits of the National Indoor Football League. After a stint in NFL Europe, Jackson signed as a free agent with the Bills and went on to become the team's third all-time leading rusher.