On December 31, 2017, with 53 seconds remaining and facing 4-and-12 on the road, quarterback Andy Dalton found Tyler Boyd for a 49-yard touchdown to give the Bengals a stunning 31-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
The outcome didn’t really mean much to Cincinnati, which finished 7-9, but it knocked the Ravens out of playoff contention and gave Buffalo its first postseason berth since 1999.
In typical Bills fashion, with the Bengals in town for a preseason game at New Era Field, Dalton was announced to the crowd while standing in the end zone, and the fans gave him a standing ovation as a thank you for ending a tough playoff drought, which was the longest in major professional American sports.
Dalton was all smiles, and understandably so. It was a pretty hilarious, yet genuine gesture. The 30-year-old signal caller was also about business on the field, too.
With a 57-yard touchdown pass to John Ross on the game’s opening possession and another 14-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green later in the first quarter, the veteran looked dialed in, completing 11 of 16 passes for 180 yards and those two scores.
The Bengals beat the Bills, 26-13.
The story isn’t the game really. After all, it’s still just the NFL preseason. The biggest headline is the ovation, and the relationship the Bengals quarterback has with the Buffalo community.
Bills fans have donated nearly $450,000 to Dalton’s foundation, and another $150,000 to the Western Pennsylvania Youth Athletic Association, on behalf of Boyd, according to Fox.
Dalton and his wife JJ returned the favor by making a donation to the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo and made a surprise appearance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday morning.
If the quarterback experiment in Buffalo doesn’t pan out, they could always give Dalton a call. He would definitely be a popular choice in upstate New York.