The 2017 season marked the end of an unfortunate era for the Buffalo Bills, as a Wild Card berth punched their ticket to the postseason for the first time since 1999.

The moment snapped the longest active playoff drought in the NFL as well as the NHL, MLB and NBA.

The jubilation lasted just six days as the Bills would lose their opening round match up against the Jaguars 10-3.

But, one thing was for sure -- under owners Terry and Kim Pegula, new General Manager Brandon Beane and first-year head coach Sean McDermott -- things where trending in the right direction.


The progress stalled in 2018, with the Bills finishing 6-10 as they spent time to deveop their first-round draft pick, quarterback Josh Allen.

Using a line Sean McDermott has preached since his arrival in Buffalo, the Bills continued to "Trust The Process."

The payoff of "The Process" was seen right away in 2019 for the Bills, who began the first five weeks of the season 4-1. Their lone loss was to New England in a game that came down to the final drive -- with an injured Allen on the sideline.

Buffalo spent the remainder of the regular season in the thick of the playoff race, maintaining the top AFC Wild Card spot for months. Wins came in front of national audiences against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving night and the Steelers on Sunday Night football. It was evident - people began to take notice of Buffalo.

Their success even had them mathematically in contention for the AFC East title entering week 16, a feat that hasn't been done since 1995.

The 1995 season marks the last time the Bills won a playoff game. And, the weight of that drought has been evident in Orchard Park all week as the Bills prepare for their Wild Card game with the Texans on Saturday in Houston.

Signage in hallways and in the team's locker room that once said "PLAYOFF CALIBER" have been stripped and replaced with "CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBER" slogans.

In 1995 a portion of the Bills roster wasn't even born yet. Their oldest player currently, Frank Gore, was just 12 years old.

The drought of playoff wins ranks among the longest in the NFL, with 24 seasons passing since their victory over the Dolphins. Buffalo's run in '95 came to an end in the Divisional Round at the hands of Pittsburgh.

It is the third longest active of no playoffs victories in the league, with the Detroit Lions spanning 28 seasons and the Cincinnati Bengals lasting 29.

In between the 1995 loss to Pittsburgh and the 2017 loss to Jacksonville the Bills have fallen victim three other times in the playoffs - Jacksonville (1996), Miami (1998) and Tennessee (1999).

It's fitting that the first NFL game of the new year will feature the Bills when they travel to Houston as Buffalo heads into 2020 with their sights set on a bright future, ending a 24- season drought and certainly looking to leave the last two decades behind.