By Colleen Meosky
While the loss to Kansas City in the AFC Championship is difficult to deal with, the Buffalo Bills brought some much-needed light to Western New York and their fans everywhere this season. From setting new franchise and league records to donating to good causes, the team brought the community together with something to celebrate.
Back in Week 9, Josh Allen led the team to victory over the Seattle Seahawks 44-34 after his grandmother passed away the night before. Over $1.14 million have been donated to the Patricia Allen Fund at Oishei Children’s Hospital in an effort to show support for the Allen family and commemorate Patricia. Most donations were in increments of 17, a nod to the quarterback’s number, and Josh himself contributed $17,000. He has a history of uplifting patients at Oishei with visits, positive messages, and Bills gear. The money raised will be used to help the hospital’s pediatric critical care team and their pediatric transport team.
The Buffalo Bills proceeded to excel in their games to finish the regular season with a record of 13-3 and became the AFC East Champions for the first time since 1995. Stefon Diggs set a record during the New England win for most receiving yards by a player after changing teams, and had 6+ catches in 16 consecutive games, making it the longest streak in NFL history. Josh Allen set the franchise records for the most touchdown passes and passing yards in a single season. This year’s team scored the most points in Bills’ history and had a perfect division record for the first time.
Photo credit: Craig Melvin
Several Bills players decided to have a snowball fight after practice. Photo credit: Bill Wippert
The Bills defeated Baltimore in the divisional round of the playoffs when the Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson got injured in the second half. While the fans rejoiced in the advancement to the conference championship, Buffalonians demonstrated their great sportsmanship by donating to Blessings in a Backpack, a charity Jackson has supported in the past. More than 17,000 Bills Mafia members have stepped up to raise over $512,000. This generosity will help feed children for 128,000 weekends. The nonprofit is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and they have announced their intention to help feed children in Buffalo and Baltimore as well.
The Buffalo Bills overall had a dominant season. They have made it clear that the work will not stop, and they fully intend to become Lombardi-level. In this 2020 season, the Bills have emerged as a powerful franchise that’s destined for success, and their journey this year has in turn inspired the city they play for. Bills fans should enjoy the advancements the team has made this year, but nobody should be satisfied with this year’s divisional title considering the true potential and ambition they have to become champions of it all.
Photo credit: Instagram @ericjonescaricature