I hope the Buffalo Bills aren’t thinking the same way the majority of the fanbase seems to be this week. Bills fans and prognosticators all over the internet have been debating whether or not Buffalo should rest their starters in Week 17. That conversation is premature.
If the Bills don’t win on Monday Night Football, they will fall to 11-4, one game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and just one game ahead of the Tennessee Titans. Another Week 17 loss to the playoff-worthy Miami Dolphins would make the Bills 11-5 with the possibility of falling to the four seed in the conference behind the Titans.
Surely, that would not be a death sentence. This Buffalo Bills team can beat anyone when they are clicking. At the same time, we would prefer the easiest path the the AFC Championship game and playing at Pittsburgh or hosting your own game in the divisional round is way better than playing at Kansas City.
Head coach Sean McDermott has preached one game at a time throughout his time at the helm and “Won Not Done” has been the motto of the last week since clinching the AFC East. The Bills have gone from demanding respect to receiving it, but can they keep their foot on the gas? They’ve never really been in this position before.
Luckily for them, the big-bads are looming on Monday night. Bills players likely feel they still need to slay the dragon to put an exclamation point on their AFC East victory. A win over the New England Patriots would clinch the two or three seed in the conference, and avoid a trip to Arrowhead Stadium until the AFC Championship Game.
Then we can start talking about whether to let the foot off the gas in Week 17 and whether home-field advantage matters if there aren’t fans in the stands.