Photo via Tim Heitman-USA Today Sports
When it comes to teams that are well-coached, solid, talented, and are contending for the playoffs, the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, and Kansas City Chiefs are some of these teams that come into mind. One team that now comes to mind that hasn’t in the last two decades: the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo Bills currently sit at 9-3 heading into December’s final stretch run and are 2.5 games ahead of the rest of their AFC Wild Card competition. They are coming off a very impressive 26-15 win over the Dallas Cowboys in their first game this season in the national spotlight. The Bills, coached by Sean McDermott, are a very well-coached team and have a very nice young roster for the future.
The Bills have the fourth-most cap room available but have a loaded roster. The Bills made the playoffs with a strong running game and defense in 2017, and this year, they have built their roster to be the same way. They have young stars on defense in Tre’Davious White, who was their first-round draft pick in 2017, Matt Milano, who was a fifth-round pick in 2017, and Tremaine Edmunds, who was drafted in the first round in 2018. These pieces combined with veterans Jordan Poyer, Jerry Hughes, Micah Hyde, and Lorenzo Alexander, make up a top-three defense in the NFL.
They have also drafted well on offense as they have finally acquired their quarterback of the future in Josh Allen. He has a lot of arm talent and he has looked better in the last three games since a tough loss at Cleveland with six touchdowns and only one interception and is also a dual-threat as he has 430 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground. Third-round draft pick Devin Singletary has given this team a nice running game option for the future as he has had about 700 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.
Their free-agent acquisitions have worked out well, especially at wide receiver. Allen needed weapons and got them. John Brown has been dependable with 61 catches, 882 yards and, five touchdowns. Cole Beasley has added 55 catches, 635 yards and, five touchdowns. This has helped the offense to take major strides from last years’ ineptitude.
One criticism of this team, however, is they have the fourth weakest strength of victory in the NFL among teams who have won this season. They have beaten some of the worst teams this season, but wins are wins in the NFL. They have won the games they are supposed to and look like a cohesive unit. Without a star to carry them, they win as a team that makes them a tough out.
In their Thanksgiving win at Dallas, the defense shut down the league’s top offense in the Cowboys, and the offense put together one of their best performances of the season. Allen had an incredible effort in converting a fourth-down that looked doomed after a fumbled snap.
Also, Allen was very efficient and the offense got the job done in a big road win with former Cowboy Cole Beasley having a huge game with six catches, 110 yards and, a touchdown. They have a tight-knit defensive unit, and the offense has come to life in the last three weeks.
At 9-3, the Bills are in a great position to claim at least an AFC Wild Card spot and look like a tough out for everyone. When Baltimore comes to town next week, it will gauge where the team is at in the big picture of the NFL, but for now, Bills’ fans can celebrate a winning season and a future that looks bright.