It’s officially the dry season for NFL fanbases. We’re post-draft and pre-training camp and there is little to cover. Unless you’re a freakazoid nerd and you fantasize about the schedule announcement (like me). The Bills have quite the schedule as they will play the reigning Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two revenge games in Kansas City and Tennessee, and a Thanksgiving Day game in New Orleans. Along with the home-opener in the newly dubbed Highmark Stadium, those games are definitely circled for the wagon-circlers. So for this week’s Bills Mafia Poll, I went to Twitter to find out which games other than the previously mentioned are the most worrisome. These games are commonly known as “trap games”. Games which, on the surface seem like easy wins, but could result in a loss. Here are the results.
Week 3 vs WFT (33.2%)
Now, to start, it is true that the Football Team made the playoffs last year and features one of the best seven-man fronts in the entire league. They also possess a magic-wielding bearded orc at Quarterback, looking to come home. Buffalo should go into this game favored by five(ish) points; enough for broadcasters and Bills fans to overlook WFT in preparation for Kansas City and Tennessee in weeks five and six. Football Team is legit y’all, and whether or not you would consider this a trap game, it will be much closer than we imagine.
We already mentioned their front seven featuring guys like Matt Ioannidis, Jon Allen, Chase Young, and newly drafted Jamin Davis. Defensively, they’re going to be all over the field and it will be interesting to watch the trenches come week three. Expect some Spencer Brown action to deal with the big bodies. Outside of the front seven, WFT signed former Chief Kendall Fuller and drafted one of my crushes in Benjamin St. Juste. It’s going to come down to our receiving core creating separation and our O-Line giving Josh some time. If we can take care of those things, I think Buffalo will come out with the W. I am not scared of Fitzy’s offense, or should I be?
Week 9 @ JAX (9.1%)
This game got little feedback and votes from the community (probably due to the presence of two 2020 playoff teams in this poll). However, I think this is quite literally the definition of a trap game. Obviously, Jacksonville is coming off of a one-win season, but they have made tons of additions. Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne will be heading from Clemson to Duval to join Urban Meyer in a new regime. There is little to look at and get intimidated by with this Jags roster in all honesty. They have some good receivers along with a veteran O-Line. Couple that with some young and athletic defensive guys and you have a sub-average team.
However, the Bills will still have something to prove week nine in Jacksonville. Going into the game all the hype will be around the Quarterbacks as No. 1 overall pick T-Law will get his shot at the runner-up for MVP. Jacksonville likely doesn’t have the guns to keep up with Daboll and Allen’s offense, but don’t be surprised if this new Jags team covers the spread.
Week 11 vs IND (48.1%)
Roughly 400 people voted for the Wild Card Weekend rematch against Indianapolis. Despite the high turnout, tons of Bills Mafia disagreed with me even putting Indy in this poll. Yes, they are a former playoff team. Yes, they’re the favorite to win the AFC South. And yes, they are reuniting Wentz with Reich. However, we are covering all trap games.
In the lull weeks of the season, facing a playoff team is no shrug of a game. With that said, the Bills should be favored by three(ish) points and are the definite favorites at home. In the offseason, other than trading for Wentz, they replaced Castonzo with Pro-Bowler Eric Fisher, further deepening their O-Line. They also drafted some interesting defensive pieces in Kwity Paye and Dayo Obeyingbo. Is this a trap game after all? Eh, probably not. But the Bills better not fall asleep come week 11, because Indy has the talent and storyline to throw another loss in the Bills column.
Week 17 vs ATL (9.6%)
This was my personal pick as the Bills’ “Trap Game” but the community didn’t seem to agree. On paper, Atlanta has a top-six offense in the NFL. Drafting Kyle Pitts, my No. 1 overall graded player in the draft, increased their stockpile of offensive weaponry; allowing Ryan to excel following a meh season. Other than Pitts, they have generational superstar Julio Jones, budding star Calvin Ridley, and former Panther Mike Davis, who is a distant second to Josh Allen in terms of looking good in shorts.
This offense has unlimited potential, especially if Pitts is good right away. With this game being deep into the season, and with the probability of injuries, this game truly scares me. I think we will see something along the lines of a 45-41 score come January 2nd. Obviously, the reason for Atlanta’s struggles last year and more than likely this year is from the defensive side of the ball. Other than DT Grady Jarrett and LB Deion Jones, they really have no playmakers or difference makers. Their pass-rush is miserable, their secondary is extremely young, and their linebacking core leans heavily on Jones to make plays. All-in-all this is going to be a who-stops-who-first game, and if Buffalo hits a lull week 17 and fails to come out in front of the crowd with some energy, we could see ourselves on the opposite side of an offensive shootout.
Once again, I want to say thank you to the community! After reaching 1,500 votes on last week’s Bills Mafia Poll, we reached 800 this week. That’s truly awesome. If you would like to be a part of the polling process make sure to follow @SemiAverageRigs on Twitter, see y’all next week.