A look back at the Bills' big breakthrough

Every AFC East game was significant in its way.

The New England Patriots thumped the Pittsburgh Steelers to reassert their presence.

The New York Jets found a way to win in overtime a second straight week and stay atop the division.

The Miami Dolphins lost two quarterbacks and maybe a couple other players while scrapping to stay in the playoff hunt.

Those were the big ones.

But in the AFC East's other game, the Buffalo Bills finally notched The Big One.

While the rest of the division generated national headlines, what transpired Sunday in Ralph Wilson Stadium might not have mattered to the casual sports fan in Des Moines, but it certainly was meaningful to the Bills, as I foreshadowed.

In a game that won't impact the standings in any way other than the draft order, the Bills held on to defeat the Detroit Lions 14-12.

Let's take a moment to salute the Bills for removing the adjective "winless" from their name.

Some notes from the game:

  • Buffalo has been the last team to win a game three times: 1984, 1971 and in the AFL in 1963.

  • Bills running back Fred Jackson scored both touchdowns. It was just his second multi-TD game of his career. He had one rushing and one receiving, the first Bills player to do that since Travis Henry in 20003.

  • Here’s a neat stat. For a franchise that has had a slew of great running backs, Jackson's career average of 4.66 yards a carry is third only to O.J. Simpson and Cookie Gilchrist.

  • Jackson became just the fifth Bills running back to gain at least 150 yards from scrimmage and score a rushing and receiving TD.

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown as least one touchdown pass in 10 straight games, the most since Drew Bledsoe in had 10 consecutive in 2002. He needs to throw only two more TD passes to match Trent Edwards' career total for Buffalo. Ahem.

  • Steve Johnson needs six receptions to become the 18th Bills player with a 50-catch season.

  • Quote that sums it up, from cornerback Leodis McKelvin: "Relief! We won. We're not going to be talking about being an 0-16 team or nothing like that. It feels great to get a win and get that off our chests."