The Bills made it to the postseason, thanks to an unlikely late-game victory by the Bengals over the Ravens. Buffalo’s first playoff opponent since 1999 can relate to getting a little (or a lot) lucky.
In 1996, only the second season of the Jaguars’ existence, Jacksonville needed a final-Sunday win over a 2-13 Falcons team. Jacksonville’s 16-3 lead melted away, and the Jags were clinging to a 19-17 margin late in the game. Enter Atlanta kicker Morten Andersen, who could win the game for the Falcons — and knock the Jaguars out of the playoffs — with a 31-yard field goal.
So it was over for Jacksonville. Finished. Kaput.
And then Andersen slipped on his approach, hooking the ball to the left and giving the Jaguars the win.
“It almost renders me speechless,” then-coach Tom Coughlin said after the win, via ESPN.com. “We’re in the playoffs.”
They made the most of it. beating the Bills in the wild-card round by the score of 30-27 before upsetting the top-seeded Broncos in the divisional round by the exact same score. (The season ended a week later with a 20-6 loss at New England.)
Andersen was a good sport about it. He appeared at the Florida Sports Awards in Jacksonville the following summer, where he presented the Jaguars MVP award.
And, of course, he pretended to slip as he walked to the stage.