After two decades of circling the wagons, the Buffalo Bills are back. They are closing in on the AFC East title, and after a primetime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo might be the team best placed to slay the Kansas City Chiefs. Sean McDermott has overseen year on year progression in Western New York; now his Bills look the real deal. Buffalo put in a complete performance in the win over Pittsburgh.
After 20 years of pain, Bills Mafia now believes in its team. The national media has overlooked Buffalo for a long time; it is a quiet, unassuming, blue-collar city; however, it is a city full of passion and unwavering support. Through the lean times, the Buffalo natives have stuck by their team. The players and coaches have reciprocated that love and support; now it has led the Buffalo Bills to a 10-3 record. As the cold winter begins to take hold in Buffalo, the NFL’s real New York franchise is heating up at the perfect time.
Sean McDermott is a defensive guru, and he has demonstrated all of that superb coaching knowledge at Buffalo. The Bills defense has played at an elite level in the last three years. However, this year has seen them drop off considerably. They are ranked 15th in scoring defense, but there are mitigating circumstances. Buffalo has had injuries on the defensive side, key players such as Matt Milano have missed game time.
The last three weeks have seen Buffalo get back to full health on defense and now they are playing at a high level. The previous three games have seen them average 18.7 points per game in scoring defense; that is top ten form from this unit. The Bills are finally healthy, and the defense is finally back. At full health, this group is the most talented defense in the NFL.
Micah Hyde and Jorden Poyer are phenomenal safeties. Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano are great linebackers. At the same time, Tre’Davious White is one of the standout cornerbacks in the NFL. Those are the headline makers, but the depth in this defense is ridiculous. AJ Klein, AJ Epenesa and Josh Norman are all making significant contributions. Sean McDermott is the best defensive mind in the AFC playoffs, giving him his full arsenal of weapons back is a considerable boost. To beat Kansas City, you will need to play spectacular defense; the Bills are the best team in the AFC to do that. The talent allied to a brilliant head coach is the right combination to knock off the champs.
Although defense only will not stop Kansas City. A team will need offensive firepower to put points on the board. Luckily for the Bills, they have just the offense to do that. Josh Allen is maturing into a top-five quarterback. The big-armed former Wyoming man is easily enjoying the best year of his career; Stefon Diggs has helped him in the maturation process. Diggs is a star number one receiver who can do anything. Add Gabriel Davis, Cole Beasley, and Dawson Knox to the mix, and this Bills offense is potent enough to hurt the Chiefs.
It is not the anemic Steelers offense that couldn’t hurt a middle school team; the Bills offense is legitimately good. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is having a stellar year; he is presiding over a top ten offense. This group has all the requisite skills to stress the Chiefs. And in Allen, they have a quarterback who can make any throw Mahomes makes. Allen is a special player, and he won’t blink if he has to go toe to toe with the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
The offense is superb, the defense is clicking, yet those factors might not even be the primary factor in the Bills dethroning Kansas City. In elite sport, we rarely consider the intangibles; we need to when talking about the Bills. The Bills players and fans share an unbreakable bond. We saw this when Bills fans raised money for charity in the name of Allen’s late grandmother. A Buffalo hospital then named a wing after his grandmother. You cannot measure these things; these are the unique bonds forged through one common circumstance.
The 2020 Buffalo Bills represent their city and their fans perfectly; they are riding on a wave of pent up emotion. That matters if the Bills are to beat the Chiefs. Sport is an emotional experience, who can ever forget the Cubs riding a 108-year tidal wave of passion to a World Series, or Liverpool mounting an incredible comeback to win the 2005 Champions League. When the Bills take the field in the final three weeks and beyond, there won’t be 11 players on the field. There will be 891,000. And they will believe they can do something special. Mahomes and Kansas City might be the favorites, yet even they won’t like those numbers.
The wagon is no longer circling; instead, the Buffalo Bills have programmed the GPS for 1 Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City. Be in no doubt; the Buffalo Bills are coming; do not write them off this time.