Legendary head coach Bill Parcells once infamously said, “you are what your record says you are.” Well, the one thing Bill Parcells never was, despite working for the other three teams in the AFC East, was a Buffalo Bill.
The Buffalo Bills are 4-2, with losses to the 5-1 Kansas City Chiefs and 5-0 Tennessee Titans. Nobody wins them all, and there’s no shame in losing to probable playoff teams… but as someone that’s never taken Josh Allen seriously, and has been skeptical of the Bills, I’m ready to put my name on this hot take.
The Buffalo Bills Are Not for Real
The losses are respectable, and honestly, the wins aren’t bad either. The Bills have wins over the 3-2 Las Vegas Raiders and the 4-2 Los Angeles Rams. They smacked the New York Jets around in week one, and they’ll probably do it again this week, advancing to 5-2.
But let’s look closer at those wins. With the exception of Joe Flacco’s Denver Broncos, every other team has beaten the Jets by at least 18 points, but in all honesty, the Jets only scored in garbage time. Nobody in their right mind is saying the Jets are in the same world as the Bills.
But next week, they had to fight off Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Miami Dolphins, and escaped by the skin of their teeth. A 17-7 lead turned into a 20-17 deficit, and it took a fourth quarter comeback from Josh Allen to win. With Tua Tagovailoa starting this week, who knows what happens the next time these AFC East rivals battle.
The Los Angeles Bills
Speaking of comebacks, the Bills were up 28-3 on the Rams, and it seemed like they were finally going to notch a signature win in their young season. Then, L.A. scored 28 unanswered points and took the lead with four and a half minutes left. Josh Allen became the first quarterback I’ve ever seen get a facemask penalty at the Los Angeles 15 to set up a second and 25 in Rams territory. An absolutely terrible penalty granted the Bills a first and goal at the three yard line, where Josh Allen easily scored.
Next, they played a banged up Raiders team that just couldn’t hold onto the ball. They didn’t have Henry Ruggs III or Bryan Edwards, and a breakaway touchdown for Nelson Agholor was taken off the board by a ticky tack penalty.
However, a win is a win. Nobody cares if you lose pretty, so nobody’s got time for an ugly win. As long as you win the games that matter, who cares how you win, right?
Let’s talk about those losses.
There were some excuses to be made for the 42-16 beatdown loss to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans had gotten a lot of rest, they were playing on Tuesday night, and the game was in Tennessee.
The reality is that Josh Allen didn’t show up. He was pedestrian as a rusher, and even with 41 attempts, he posted a then-season low in passing yards, as well as throwing two interceptions. By the time he registered his second touchdown, the Bills were already down three scores and the game was basically over.
They didn’t do anything on the ground, and outside of Stefon Diggs, not a single Buffalo Bill showed up.
Kansas City, Here I Come
The Chiefs came to Buffalo and beat the hell out of the Bills without even playing their best ball. At points, they looked sloppy. Travis Kelce botched a late-half drive by fumbling, and they didn’t really pull away into the third quarter.
But Mahomes looked like Mahomes, Clyde Edwards-Helaire proved Le’Veon Bell will be number two on the depth chart, and Josh Allen averaged a miserable 4.5 yards per pass attempt. If the Titans and Chiefs are the type of teams the Bills will need to play in the playoffs, let alone on the way there, and they play like this? It’s hard to be optimistic for them.
Sure, the Bills get the Jets again, and the Denver Broncos certainly aren’t all that, but unlike last year, when they chewed on cupcake teams, the Bills have a rough schedule ahead of them.
The Patriots Twice
Cam Newton’s Patriots aren’t Tom Brady’s Patriots, but they’ve still proven to be dangerous. When they’re clicking and healthy, they can simply out-smart and out-muscle most teams. They swept Buffalo last year, and have dominated since 2016. It’s hard to imagine Buffalo getting the sweep right away.
The Seattle Seahawks
Believe it or not, the Bills actually have a pretty good chance in this one. I’ll still probably pick the Seahawks because Russell Wilson is on a monstrous pace, but without Jamal Adams, “legion of boom” this is not. They’re lucky they get to host this game without traveling across the country, but it’ll be hard to imagine Allen out-dueling Russell Wilson.
The Arizona Cardinals
This is a tough one. Even with a poor offensive showing, they blew the Cowboys out, 38-10. If the offense shows up? I’m not saying Kyler Murray can do what Josh Allen does better, but yes I am, he absolutely can, I was right about Josh Allen being overrated the entire time.
The Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers look like one of the better teams in the AFC this season. The pass rush is devastating, the offense is cohesive and operating on every level, and Mike Tomlin is putting rumors of his “hot seat” to rest. As Baltimore kinda fails to launch, the Steelers are picking up momentum. I’d be surprised if the Bills win this one.
I’m not saying the Miami Dolphins are going to win the AFC East… but they are only one game behind Buffalo, and they do get to play the Los Angeles Chargers, the Denver Broncos, the New York Jets again, and the Cincinnati Bengals… Stay tuned.