Buffalo Bills Poised to Make Deep Run in the Playoffs

New York’s only football team has the best chance of beating Kansas City for the AFC title



Quarterback Josh Allen is having an MVP-worthy season, and he looks ready to lead the Bills on a run all the way to the Super Bowl.


It’s time to circle the wagons, New York, because our state’s only football team is going to the NFL playoffs. The Buffalo Bills aren’t just in the hunt this year; they’re absolutely dominating teams week after week. Heading into the postseason as the second seed in the American Football Conference (AFC), the Bills are playing like a team ready to go all the way to the Super Bowl.

With a 13-3 record, Buffalo is tied for the second-best regular season in the league, behind only the Kansas City Chiefs at 14-2. Yet, there is a long way to go before these teams could face off because, as the first and second seeds, they can’t play each other until the AFC championship, assuming both teams make it there.

In the potential matchup against Kansas City, NFL history doesn’t favor the Bills. The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions, and the Bills haven’t won a playoff game since 1995. That last win came after losing four straight Super Bowls, which is still an NFL record. They also already played each other this past October, when Kansas City won 26-17. Does Buffalo even have a chance at winning a possible rematch? 

This isn’t the same Bills team that lost to the Chiefs in Week 6.

Looking at the numbers and the way both teams have been playing this season, absolutely. For starters, the Bills have the highest strength of schedule of any team in the playoffs, meaning they have played better teams than anyone else. On top of that, the Bills have the highest strength of victory of any AFC playoff team and second highest of any playoff team, only behind the Los Angeles Rams. Not only have the Bills played better opponents than the Chiefs, but they’ve beaten better opponents, too. 

In fact, the Bills have beaten both of the teams that beat the Chiefs this year: the Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers. And, recently, when the Bills win, they win by a lot. There is no hotter team entering the playoffs. They haven’t lost since Week 11 in the infamous “Hail Murray” pass that gave the Cardinals a last-second win. 

The Bills had been winning close games all season, with their widest margin of victory being only 10 points against the Jets in the season opener and against the Seahawks in one of quarterback Josh Allen’s best games. The Arizona game was no exception, with the Bills allowing the Cardinals to score 17 unanswered points in the third quarter. With just minutes left in the game, the Bills took the lead in what should have been a perfect, game-winning touchdown pass from Allen to wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Instead, as time expired, Kyler Murray threw his own 43-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins for the Cardinals to win the game 32-30. 

That game was a big shift for the Bills, as explained by starting offensive lineman Dion Dawkins. In an article for The Players Tribune, he wrote, “Alright — hold up. If they’re fired up like they won the Super Bowl….. why aren’t we upset like we lost the Super Bowl?” That’s when the Bills realized that they’re not worried about making the playoffs anymore; they’re focused on winning Buffalo’s first Super Bowl. 

In every game since then, the Bills have won by 10 or more points, scoring 229 points over six games to their opponents’ combined total of 110, making the average margin of victory an impressive 19.8 points. After a slow defensive start, allowing teams to keep it nail-bitingly close in the first half of the season, both sides of the ball (and even special teams) have been playing championship-caliber football. This isn’t the same Bills team that lost to the Chiefs in Week 6.

And this isn’t the same Chiefs team that beat the Bills. Kansas City hasn’t beaten a team by more than a touchdown since they played the Jets on Nov. 1. They set an NFL record for most wins in a row by only one score. Just two weeks after the Chiefs edged out a 33-27 win over the Miami Dolphins, the Bills beat the Dolphins 56-26, but Buffalo only played their starters for the first half. That’s not a great omen for Kansas City heading into the playoffs. 

The Bills are no longer the subject of a cute story about a team that’s finally made the playoffs.

Speaking of Buffalo’s starters, they’re some of the best in the league. Allen, Diggs, wide receiver and return specialist Andre Roberts, cornerback Tre’Davious White, and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds were all selected to the Pro Bowl this year. 

Allen is having the best season of his career and has set franchise records in completions (396), passing yards (4,554) and passing touchdowns (37). He is the first player in NFL history to have 4,500 or more passing yards, 35 or more passing touchdowns and at least 5 rushing touchdowns in a single season. He completed 69.2% of passes this year, more than Tom Brady ever has in a season. His improvement is beyond what most thought possible, and he looks ready to lead this offense to a lot more than just an AFC East title. 

Don’t forget about Diggs, either. He finished the season first in the NFL in both receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535). He’s a toe-tapping star who can make any catch look easy. The Bills offensive line is top-tier too, giving Allen the (tie for) second-most time in the pocket of any quarterback. 

But statistics don’t matter in the playoffs if games aren’t won.

On special teams, Roberts leads the league in yards per kick return (30) and total kick and punt return yards (1247), while punter Corey Bojorquez leads in the longest punt (72) and yards per punt (50.8). Even rookie kicker Tyler Bass set a franchise record for most points in a season (141) this year. 

The Bills defense is third in the league for takeaways (26) and has finally found its groove after a slow start. With this kind of talent on every side of the ball, the Bills are going to be a tough team to beat this January. 

But statistics don’t matter in the playoffs if games aren’t won. Kansas City has a bye week, but Buffalo has to beat the Indianapolis Colts this Saturday. Then both teams will have to win against either the Steelers, Browns, Titans or Ravens, depending on who wins this weekend’s games. Only then will we get to see if this Bills team is the one who can win a conference championship for the first time since they won four in a row from 1990-1993.

Don’t get me wrong; the Chiefs have beaten the Bills once this year and they can certainly do it again. But Buffalo has gotten a lot better since that game. Allen has real MVP consideration, Diggs is the NFL’s top wide receiver, and the defense has regained last year’s swagger. The Bills are no longer the subject of a cute story about a team that’s finally made the playoffs — they’re serious Super Bowl contenders playing better football than any team in the league. 

Will the Bills and Chiefs both make it to the AFC championship game? We’ll have to wait and see. But if they do, there is not a single team better suited right now to knock Kansas City out of the playoffs than the Buffalo Bills. 

After the Bills won the AFC East, Allen said, “This hat and shirt is fine and dandy. But I want the shirt that says f—ing Super Bowl champs.” After a season where they broke franchise record after franchise record, don’t be surprised if this is the Buffalo Bills team that finally wins it all.