Of all 12 teams currently in possession of a playoff spot, the Buffalo Bills are the most anonymous of the bunch by far. Yet, in a conference with the likes of New England, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City, the Bills own the third-best record.
The casual NFL fan might struggle to name even a handful of players on Buffalo’s roster, but it might be time to become familiar with the team that just improved to 8-3 on the season with a 20-3 thrashing of Denver.
As usual, the Bills used suffocating defense to compensate for an underwhelming offense in order to get the win. In total, all the Broncos could muster was a single field goal against one of the NFL’s best defenses.
Offensively, the Bills relied on their rushing attack. Running backs Devin Singletary and Frank Gore combined for 36 carries, 171 yards, and a touchdown, and quarterback Josh Allen used his legs to add another 56 yards.
Allen only threw the ball 25 times but ended up with 185 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Meanwhile, Denver quarterback Brandon Allen only completed 10 of his 25 passes for 82 yards and a pick. No Broncos running back had more than 57 yards, and no Broncos receiver had more than 27 yards.
Another dominant defensive performance has now vaulted Buffalo into a strong playoff position.
How the Bills Arrived at 8-3
Throughout their 11 games played this season, the Bills have allowed 17 points or fewer on seven occasions. Buffalo isn’t used to a lot of offensive production, yet they’ve only dropped three contests all year long.
On the negative side, the harsh reality for Bills fans is the fact that their team has played one of the easiest schedules in the league. Of their eight wins, only one has come against a team that’s currently over .500 – the 6-5 Tennessee Titans.
The Bills have feasted on the NFL’s worst teams, such as the Jets, Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, and Bengals.
And while a 16-10 loss to New England is easily excused, Buffalo’s other two losses have come against the Eagles and Browns, both of whom are now 5-6.
Despite it all, the Bills can fall back on the famous words of Bill Parcells, who said, “You are what your record says you are.”
For Buffalo, an 8-3 record says they’re one of the best teams in the AFC. We’ll find out if that’s true over the next few weeks.
Is Buffalo a Postseason Lock?
At 8-3, two more wins may be all it takes to get Buffalo into the playoffs. Another three wins would guarantee the Bills a record of at least 11-5, and only eight other AFC teams even have a shot at that record, four of which would need to win out.
So, the Bills are in a great spot with five games remaining on the schedule. However, the next four games will be four of the most difficult games Buffalo has played all year, as the schedule finally gets tough.
Next up for Buffalo is a trip to 6-5 Dallas for a Thanksgiving Day contest. After that, the Bills will take on 8-2 Baltimore, 6-5 Pittsburgh, and 10-1 New England before finally getting to the 4-7 Jets to end the regular season.
In short, we’ll finally get to see whether or not the Bills are the real deal.
However, whether by strong performances or a weak schedule, the Bills are 8-3 and own the third-best record in the AFC. So, will that be enough to get them into the postseason?
The New England Patriots are huge favorites to win the AFC East at -10000, so a postseason berth will have to come by way of a Wild Card spot for Buffalo. With a two-game lead on the four teams tied for the sixth spot with a record of 6-5, the Bills are sitting pretty.
Yet when it comes to winning something meaningful, nobody is taking Buffalo seriously.
At +3300, the Bills own the fifth-best odds of winning the AFC and are miles behind the likes of New England (-115), Baltimore (+250), and Kansas City (+450).
At +6000, the Bills are tied with Cleveland for the 13th-best odds to win the Super Bowl.
So, while Buffalo is likely to earn a playoff berth, there isn’t much of a chance that they’ll do much with a shot at postseason football.