Recently, the Bills laid the smack-down on the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead. Buffalo dominated every facet of the game and walked away leaving America stunned. The team is now 4-1. Looking ahead at their schedule, there are only a couple more games that should have fans worried. So how much higher can this team go? *Cue Creed*
I went to Twitter to ask Bills Mafia and the results are fascinating.
Results ranked from least optimum to most optimum.
Division Winners (1.4%)
The number of votes may be small, but take that as a pleasant thing. A mere 1.4% of 220 people see the Bills’ ceiling as division winners. This goes hand-in-hand with a high playoff seed. The rest of the AFC East has looked poor through five weeks. The Jets are a disaster, the Dolphins have a terrible offense, and the Patriots have struggled against good competition (and the Texans). It’s safe to say that, through five weeks, the Bills have already proclaimed themselves AFC East Champions. With that said, I just don’t see a universe in which Buffalo’s #1 achievement this year is winning the division. The sky is the limit.
Obviously, Josh Allen has been a superstar and is laying down the red carpet to win the MVP award. The defense held Mahomes to 20 points and forced three turnovers against Andy Reid’s Megamind offense. The O-Line has been worlds better since kicking Williams in and playing blossoming-star Spencer Brown. The D-Line has also taken a massive leap from last year as practically everyone on the front is playing better each week. Basically, this team is way too dangerous and has hardly any holes across the entirety of the roster. The division is a given at this point and McDermott’s eyes should be set on facing Baltimore, the Chargers or even a rematch against Kansas City. However, it would be much better facing these teams coming off a bye.
AFC Championship Game (5%)
Once again, take 5% as a blessing. Only 1 in every 20 Bills fans see this team’s ceiling as a AFC Championship loss. It may be crazy to project this deep into the season, but the Bills are a part of a small handful of teams that have this luxury. Teams that could possibly play Buffalo are: the Ravens, the Chargers, the Chiefs (again), the Browns, and the Titans. Let’s go ahead and assume that Buffalo finishes the season as the one seed after a 15-2 season, just for argument’s sake. That means that Buffalo would avoid both the two and three seed, and would face the lowest remaining seed coming off that first-round bye. So, in theory, Buffalo would avoid both the Chargers and Ravens until the AFC Championship Game, and would likely play Tennessee, Cleveland, Cincy, etc.
The stars are truly aligning for Buffalo, but I am scared of one team: the Los Angeles Chargers. In a lot of ways, they are extremely similar to the Bills. Herbert and Allen are big QBs with massive arms that can extend plays. Keenan Allen and Stefon Diggs are two prolific wideouts who can play all over the field. Both defenses have also been really good thus far, but both struggle with run defense (relatively speaking). If Buffalo is set up to play Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game, I’ll be relaxed and expecting a huge W. But if the Chargers come to Buffalo in late January, I’ll be biting my nails down to the nub.
Super Bowl Appearance (17.7%)
It’s been 27 years since the Bills made the Super Bowl. Hell, it’s been a long time since the Buffalo Bills were in the Super Bowl conversation. This year is the best chance they’ll probably ever have at reaching the big game. We already talked about the AFC gauntlet that Buffalo would have to run through to get there. So let’s focus on some of the better teams in the NFC that Buffalo could possibly play come early February.
Obviously, there’s the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers who, at this point, look better than where they were week five last year. While their defense has lost a step (or two), their offense is firing at a point they never reached in their Super Bowl run, save the Pats game. The Rams are another team that are getting a ton of Super Bowl love as Sean McVay finally has an elite level QB. Pair their booming offense with the two best defensive players in football and you get a team vying for a deep playoff run. Green Bay is another interesting team that could easily go on a deep playoff run, especially with Rodgers at the helm.
The Cardinals are, as of right now, the best team on paper in the NFL. This is the matchup I’m personally hoping for as Buffalo would have a chance to beat every single team that defeated them in the previous season. The “Hail Murray” is a dark spot in all Mafia members’ heads, but beating Arizona in the Super Bowl would be the best form of revenge.
Then there’s Dallas, which I see as the most likely matchup. We all know about their high octane offense that can easily score 40+ every week (much like Buffalo) but it’s their defense that I think could take them to the Super Bowl. Their D-Line plays angry and much better than how we view their front on paper. Their linebackers are stupidly athletic and play all over the field. And their secondary is led by Stefon Diggs’ brother, Trevon, who currently leads the NFL in interceptions.
All-in-all, the NFC is top-heavy when compared to the AFC, and the likelihood is that Buffalo plays a better team in the Super Bowl than in the AFC Championship Game. Will they walk away as champions of the world? Or will it take a couple more seasons to truly put together a Super Bowl roster?
Super Bowl Champions (75.9%)
Wow. Three-quarters of the people who voted on my poll see the Bills emerging as Super Bowl Champions. Now, as a non-biased Bills fan page, this is a little expected. Obviously this team is elite and has established themselves as Super Bowl contenders on the national stage, but this is crazy to me. I hate to be the one to rain on everyone’s parade but it truly only is week five. With over two-thirds of the season left to be played, there is huge room for error. Buffalo could easily be figured out, I mean look at the Cardinals game from last week. They got completely shut down by a defense that lacks a strong secondary. Essentially, shit happens in the NFL and we’ve seen teams start 4-1 just to pick in the teens come draft day.
Do I think that will happen? God no. But Bills Mafia needs to start reeling back their expectations a little. In all honesty, the outcome of the Chiefs game was what should have happened. KC has easily one of the worst defenses not only this year but in the past decade. What happens when McVay and his defensive superstars in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey get two weeks to prepare for us? The offense isn’t just going to be able to walk up and down the field. What happens when Rodgers and Adams turn it on and simply decide to score points? What happens if Brady and the Bucs get the ball last? There are not only a ton of elite teams to go through but a ton of variables as well, variables that cannot be controlled.
Essentially, the Bills are the favorite to reach, and probably win, the Super Bowl. But, knowing this fan base, if the Bills lose, everyone will be sent into pandemonium. We should take light in the fact that Allen, arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, will be a Bill for the next decade at least. This team is so damn special but it might not be their year. However, the NFL can be theirs for the taking over the next decade.
Thank you all once again for the support over all of Buffalo Fanatics. Everyday we grow stronger. If you want a say in future polls, make sure to follow me on Twitter @SemiAverageRigs. Love y’all, Go Bills.