The Buffalo Bills got a step closer to first place in the AFC East last week. A Bills win over Dallas combined with New England’s loss at Houston made it a one-game difference.
It’s been 25 years since the Buffalo Bills were the AFC East Division champions. Back in 1995, they won 10 to edge out Miami and Indianapolis by one game. Currently sitting at 9-3 and a game behind New England, it will take more than 10 wins to dethrone the Pats in 2019. Something the Bills have done only once in those 25 years (1998, 11 wins).
Entering the holiday weekend New England held a two-game lead. The Buffalo Bills went into Dallas on Thanksgiving Day and left with a 26-15 win. Sunday night New England didn’t fare as well in Houston, losing 28-22. Those results put Buffalo within a game of first place. The door has been cracked open just a bit and hope of a division title is just that much closer to reality.
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There is light coming from behind that door crack. Could it just be an illusion? It hasn’t been a “Murderer’s Row” of opponents the Bills have faced this year. Their combined records are 53-91. Worse, only one of the teams Buffalo has beaten currently owns a winning record (Tennessee is 7-5) and the defeated teams combine for a 33-75 record and .306 winning percentage.
On deck is 10-2 Baltimore, followed by games at Pittsburgh (7-5), and New England (10-2). It all concludes at New Era Field against the Jets (3-9) on December 29. The Bills will have to step up their game against these upcoming opponents. Should they take care of business in the next two weeks, the Pats game will likely be for all the marbles.
New England lost to Baltimore and beat Pittsburgh. Again, assuming Buffalo wins their next two, a victory over NE on December 22 would give the Bills first place on the third tie-breaker, common opponents. The hole in this plan is of course Buffalo beating the top two teams in the AFC, Baltimore and New England. Considering their opponents thus far, it almost seems like a Herculean task for the Bills to accomplish.
Twelve games in to the season, the Buffalo Bills control their own destiny. It’s up to Josh Allen and company to seize it. So is there a genuine opportunity available or is it an unattainable dream? Bills Nation will find out very soon.