NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Jaguars' turnaround season has been one of the better underdog stories in the NFL this year.
From laughingstock to AFC South division champions, the Jaguars have slain their Goliath-like challenges of the past and earned the team's first home playoff game since the 1999 season.
On Sunday, the Jaguars will host another franchise on the rise.
The Buffalo Bills clinched their first playoff berth since 1999 in Week 17. The Bills will now head to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars next Sunday during the wild-card round of the playoffs.
The matchup will reunite the Bills with former Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
The defensive lineman was traded to Jacksonville in October. He made his first start for the Jaguars during the Week 17 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.
He found out about the Bills' playoff berth in the visiting locker room of Nissan Stadium after the game.
"You can't make this [stuff] up," Dareus said with a smile.
The former All-Pro defensive tackle spent seven seasons in Buffalo.
He still has plenty of friends in the Bills' locker room. He was happy to hear about the Bills' success.
"I just wish I could have helped," Dareus said. "But at the same time, in some kind of way I feel like I did. If I didn't, it is what it is. I'm extremely happy for [Bills defensive tackle] Kyle Williams, extremely happy for [Buffalo center] Eric Wood. The lifers that have been there for all of those years, just extremely happy for those guys."
Both Dareus and Marrone dealt with less-than-ideal exits from Buffalo.
The two worked together while with the Bills and Dareus realizes the significance of next weekend's reunion.
"Oh my God," Dareus said. "Me and Coach [Marrone], we're going to have a long talk come [Monday]. We've got to find the beat and stay in the rhythm of it."
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.