Here we are… eight games into the 2019 season and the Buffalo Bills are 6-2 for the first time since 1993. Sure, there have been some bumps along the way and flaws that have been exposed by other teams, but this team just continues to win. In an AFC that has seen potential playoff contenders appear to vanish week by week, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Bills don’t make the postseason. Which leads me to my Thursday Thought: The AFC could not be shaping up any better for the Bills.
At the beginning of the season, every fan believes their team is good and can make the playoffs. As the season goes on, some of the teams who were believed to be good will slide down the standings to the bottomless pit of losing records. This year seems different. It might just be me, but doesn’t it feel like an awful lot of AFC teams are not that good or not what we thought they’d be? I’ll give you some examples.
Let’s start with the Bills next opponent, the Cleveland Browns. Everyone was on the Browns’ hype train in August. With Baker Mayfield in year two and a stacked group of players around him, many had picked the Browns to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. They’re 2-6 and have little chance at a postseason berth.
Or how about the division rival New York Jets? Many people thought Sam Darnold, now in his second year, along with Adam Gase and Le’Veon Bell were going to set the league on fire. Just like the Browns, this could not be further from the truth. They’re 1-7 and technically the worst team in the division as they fell to the Miami Dolphins this past week.
There’s also a clump of teams we all expected to make playoff pushes that are all 4-5. This includes the Chargers, Jaguars and the Titans. None of these teams are out of the playoff picture, but they are not in strong positions to make a push for the postseason either. Then there’s the Pittsburgh Steelers, who although are at 4-4 and have a decent chance at the postseason, they’re doing so behind the arm of an inexperienced quarterback in Mason Rudolph.
The point I’m trying to make is that the AFC has fallen and this has allowed the Bills to separate themselves from the pack, at least for now. It doesn’t matter how, but as long as this team continues to win, the playoffs will be within reach. Of course, no one is out of contention completely and the Bills by no means are in the clear. However, it’s hard not to feel good about the Bills and the likelihood that they will be playing in January.
Mitch Broder is a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mitchell_broder