Buffalo needed a win in the final game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers to qualify for the playoffs. However, despite the Steelers playing their third-stringers (which, notably, included Willie Parker, who would have his breakout performance in the game), Buffalo lost and subsequently missed the playoffs. It was the only winning season that Buffalo had in the 2000s (2000–2009) and would be the Bills' last winning season until 2014.
According to Football Outsiders, who has tracked every play in the NFL since the early 1990s, the 2004 Bills are statistically the best NFL team (in their record-keeping history) to have failed to qualify for the playoffs.
The Bills set an NFL record by returning six kickoffs for touchdowns in 2004.
Their match with the Miami Dolphins in Week 6 is the only time in the NFL since 1968 that the last two winless teams have met each other.