January 2, 1999 -- Way back in the 1990's, Bills' playoff appearances were almost expected from the team. The ride to the postseason in the 1998 campaign was a particularly happy one, what with the team rebounding from an 0-3 start on the arm and feet of quarterback Doug Flutie.
That made the 24-17 loss to the hated Miami Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs that much more disappointing.
The Bills shot themselves in the proverbial foot to some extent. They had five turnovers, including four fumbles. Buffalo also was penalized nine times for 93 yards, including one that took away a possible touchdown.
"I can't think about satisfaction right now," right offensive tackle Jerry Ostroski told News reporter Vic Carucci. "It's going to take a while. We gave one away today. We made mistakes and we beat ourselves. We knew the only team that was going to beat us was ourselves, and that's what we did."
"We had too many turnovers and penalties," said left tackle John Fina. "You can't win like that. I mean, you can. We damn near took it to overtime. But it's the long, hard way to do it. And if we had won the game, we'd have won it in spite of ourselves."
Flutie was 21 for 36 for an NFL career-high 360 yards and a touchdown. Eric Moulds caught nine passes for 240 yards. It wasn't enough. The loss was Buffalo's third straight in the playoffs.
--- Budd Bailey