The Buffalo Bills made a statement on Sunday that the season is far from over. In a lopsided win over the New York Jets the Bills are now 4-7 and 2-2 in the division.
Unfortunately for many Bills fans, Buffalo usually is out of the playoff race by this time every year. However, this year that is not the case (not yet at least).
Yes, Buffalo is a long shot to make the playoffs but fans and players are finding a reason to “Billieve.” Buffalo finds themselves still in the playoff hunt for the last wildcard position, but this isn’t going to come easy. Buffalo has their bye week this coming week and after that they need to play some serious football.
After the bye week Buffalo’s next three opponents are 5-25. Their opponents are the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Jacksonville Jaguars. All three of these teams have struggled this year and find themselves out of the playoff hunt. If Buffalo wants to end the drought they need to step up these next three games. If Buffalo can put together three good games they would find themselves at 7-7 with two games remaining. The last two games remaining are division rivalries, the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
Miami will be hungry for a win because it looks like they will be in the wildcard hunt as well. For both teams this game should be like a playoff game and most likely the loser of this game will be out of the playoff race. If Buffalo could win this game they would be 8-7 with a clear path to the wildcard spot.
Everything comes down to the last game of the season versus the New England Patriots. Now I know most people are going to say this is a clear “L”, however, let’s not assume anything. The Patriots will already have the division locked up and should be in a good playoff spot. They will most likely start their starters for a quarter or two but sit them in the second half. If this is the case Buffalo’s starters should be able to beat the Patriots backups (but, let’s not forget, it’s the Bills).
Now, I know that everything I have stated above is a huge task for a 4-7 team and an even bigger dream. The Bills have been up and down all season and the bye week comes at a great time for them. They need to get healthy, work on EJ Manuel’s consistency and work on getting their rushing attack sorted with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. The defense has done a great job. Kiko Alonso, Mario Williams, Jairus Byrd, and Kyle Williams have all shown that they can/want to be a great defense and are only helping the playoff push. Everything needs to come together the next few games if Buffalo has any chance at ending the playoff drought but, nothing comes easy in the NFL.
Fans need to keep their hope the next few weeks and need to root against many AFC teams. Obviously, rooting against the whole AFC East besides the Patriots (so they are in a position to bench players) is a must. Other than that root against the Raiders (4-6), Titans (4-6), Steelers (4-6), Ravens (4-6), Browns (4-6), and Chargers (4-6). Every little bit helps and it seems like all these teams are playing for one last playoff spot.