Giddy Buffalo fans are making a surge in donations to Andy Dalton’s foundation, their way of thanking the Bengals quarterback for his role in the Bills’ long-awaited playoff appearance.
Dalton’s foundation reported Tuesday it has received more than $100,000 in donations since the Bengals beat the Ravens 31-27 on Sunday. Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left to eliminate the Ravens and open a spot for the Bills.
The Bills got the final AFC wild-card berth and ended their 17-year postseason drought, the longest among North America’s four major professional sports.
Bills fans are thanking Dalton by donating to his foundation, which is asking them to reach a goal of $150,000. Dalton was surprised and thankful for the reaction by Bills fans.
“I think I’m the hottest guy in Buffalo right now,” Dalton said Monday. “According to my Twitter, I think everybody’s loving us right now. Obviously that’s a crazy fan base and they’re all pretty excited.”
Dalton posted a video on his Twitter account Tuesday expressing his gratitude, explaining his foundation’s work and encouraging more donations.
“Let’s keep it going,” he said.
While the Bills’ long streak of playoff futility is over, the Bengals’ streak continues. They haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of postseason futility in NFL history. They’ve lost all seven of their playoff games since that season, including an NFL-record five straight first-round defeats from 2011-15.
The Bengals missed out on the playoffs for a second straight season, going 7-9. They won their last two games, knocking the Lions and Ravens out of the playoff race.