Bills now set up for season changing opportunityRochesterFirst
Written by on 4 October 2021
Normally, the Bills have a 24-hour rule. Win or lose, the players and coaches think about the last game for only 24 hours.
Forget 24 hours. I don’t think Bills fans will be thinking about this win over Houston for more than 24 seconds. Not considering who is up next.
The Bills certainly did a good job handling their business against the Texans. They didn’t just handle it. They hammered it.
Sure, it was the Texans and it was raining and it was at home, but it’s impossible not to be blown away by this Bills defense. Two shutouts in three games is something that, as Josh Allen summed nicely, “just doesn’t happen in the NFL”.
They threw up a goose egg this week with two key members of the secondary on the bench injured. Cam Lewis and Jaquan Johnson stepped in for Jordan Poyer and Taron Johnson as if the starters weren’t even gone. Jaquan got his first interception and Lewis forced a fumble as the Bills made it three straight games creating at least three turnovers.
Outside of the second half against the Steelers and the couple of weird minutes against Washington, this Bills defense has nearly been perfect.
One of the best parts about this win for the Bills is that the guys who made the big plays are the guys that were under the microscope. The guys this organization needed and wanted to make a leap or cement themselves as a dependable contributor, if not more.
Dawson Knox had two more touchdowns. Tremaine Edmunds had an interception. Ed Oliver was borderline dominant at times. Even Boogie Basham had a sack. It was a who’s who of “players Bills fans desperately hope have good years”.
The Bills are firing on all cylinders heading into what easily could be the regular season game of the year. At the beginning of the season, I thought this week five contest could very easily decide the AFC Championship–winner of the game gets home field in the AFC title game and the home team heads to the Super Bowl.
Now, I see it more as simply a perhaps a franchise-altering opportunity for the Bills. Buffalo will enter this game with a one-game lead over Kansas City. Despite some early-season struggles, these two are still considered the favorites to win the AFC.
If the Bills win in Arrowhead on Sunday… I think they bury the Chiefs.
A Buffalo win equals a two game advantage plus the tiebreaker. That means the Chiefs would have to make up three games on the Bills in the final 12 weeks of the season to pass them in AFC playoff seeding. If the Bills can win on the road against the Chiefs, are there even three losable games left on the schedule?
Home field advantage in the AFC Championship is not insurmountable for either the Bills or the Chiefs, but the Bills thought it was a big pain last year. A win on Sunday can likely make the Chiefs feel that pain this year.
It’s not just the math that the Bills can change next Sunday. It’s also the mind. Pat Mahomes and friends handled the Bills easily last year. Twice. The last big hurdle this Bills team needs to climb is winning that elite-level game. The mega game. That championship game. Anyone who beats the Chiefs on the road proves, beyond a doubt, that level can be reached.
Even if the Bills lose on Sunday, the math still favors them in the potential race against Kansas City for home field. Both teams would be 3-2 with five division games on the schedule for the Chiefs against the Chargers, Broncos and Raiders. The Bills five division games remaining are against the Dolphins, Patriots and Jets.
No need to rely on a soft schedule for a space in line ahead of Kansas City. The Bills can shove the Chiefs into a deep hole all by themselves. These Bills are hot, riding the best three-game stretch (by point differential) of the McDermott era. They’re (mostly) healthy and they have a chance to prove that the AFC playoffs go through Western New York, not Western Missouri.
Forget about Houston. It’s onto Kansas City.
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