When Was the Last Time the Buffalo Bills Made the Playoffs?

The Buffalo Bills have looked downright dominant at times this season; they’re in the driver’s seat in the AFC East. Behind quarterback Josh Allen, Buffalo is looking better than it has in years. What makes Bills fans appreciate the success this season, however, is their prolonged lack of victories in the postseason over the past 25 years. 

So when was the last time the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs? Let’s look at their last playoff appearance, last playoff win, and last AFC East title. 

When was the last time the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs? 

Bills' offensive lineman Dion Dawkins and Josh Allen
The Buffalo Bills’ offensive lineman Dion Dawkins and quarterback Josh Allen | Ralph Freso/Getty Images

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The Bills have been downright bad since their heyday of the early ’90s. But they’ve been able to piece together winning seasons here and there. Case in point: The last time the Bills made the playoffs was last season. 

In the 2019-20 wild-card round, the Bills lost a heartbreaker to the Houston Texans, 22-19. According to ESPN, at one point, the Bills held a 16-point lead, including a 13-0 halftime advantage. But it wasn’t enough to stop Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson, however. Watson played terrific down the stretch, leading the team to a game-winning drive in overtime. 

For a team that has struggled to remain competitive, this was a real dagger. What made it hurt even worse was just how long it had been since the Bills last won a playoff game. 

When was the last time the Buffalo Bills won a playoff game? 

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The Bills have been able to make the playoffs sparingly over the last 25 years. But achieving success once they got there was a different story. Tracking the Bills’ last appearance is one thing. But determining their last playoff victory is another matter altogether. 

According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the Bills’ last playoff victory came on December 30, 1995. This was a wild-card round game against the Miami Dolphins. Dan Marino was under center for Miami, which provides context on just how long ago this was. That day, the Bills won 37-22 with 341 rushing yards in a somewhat dominant victory. 

In the ensuing years since, the Bills have only managed to appear in six playoff games, losing all of them. The only teams with a longer playoff losing streak are the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals. 

When was the last time the Buffalo Bills won the AFC East? 

To find the last Bills’ division victory, look no further than their last playoff appearance. The 1995 Bills won the AFC East with a 10-6 record — somewhat of an end of an era, reports Pro Football Reference. While the team didn’t sink into oblivion instantly following their division-winning season, they never recaptured the title again. From 1988-95, the Bills achieved the following: 

  • Six AFC East division victories
  • Four AFC championships 
  • Six double-digit win seasons

It’s been nearly three decades of futility for the Bills. They haven’t been able to identify a franchise quarterback or compile enough talent to go on a deep playoff run. From a divisional perspective, they’ve struggled with having to play the juggernaut New England Patriots twice a year.

But the Bills’ problems go way beyond having to deal with New England. Now that the roadblock of the Patriots has seemingly been removed and the team has a promising QB in Allen, they’re looking like they’ll get an opportunity to get a long-sought-after playoff win this offseason.