The Buffalo Bills can clinch the two seed with a win or a Pittsburgh Steelers loss on Sunday but according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Bills may not be content to watch Pittsburgh struggle. Fowler said on Saturday, the “Bills might rest a few, but belief is many key guys will go.”
Fowler goes on to say that the Bills could land the two seed but also adds an interesting wrinkle. Week 17 is “Josh Allen’s one last MVP stand.”
Allen is considered a longshot to be in the MVP debate behind Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes has already been ruled out by head coach Andy Reid this week as KC prepares for the postseason. The Packers need a win in the late afternoon time slot to secure the top seed in the NFC, so Rodgers and the Pack are expected to play all of their starters.
Let’s look back at last year when the Bills had their playoff seeding sewn up heading into Week 17. They played Josh Allen and Jon Feliciano for seven plays. Mitch Morse got ten with Dion Dawkins playing 14 snaps. John Brown, Cole Beasley, Devin Singletary, and Dawson Knox were inactive. On defense, Tre’Davious White was held out but Lorenzo Alexander played one snap, Star Lotulelei four snaps, and Jerry Hughes seven. Matt Milano, Tremaine Edmunds, Jordan Poyer, and Micah Hyde all played ten snaps for the Bills.
With all of that being said, expect Tre’Davious White and Stefon Diggs to sit, and probably Dawson Knox. If they are really interested in getting Allen Drew Bledsoe’s team record for passing yards in a season and pumping up his MVP candidacy, he could play a couple of series throwing quick passes.
We will know more around 11:30 a.m. EST on Sunday.
UPDATE 9:00 AM
Based on my conversations here in Buffalo, some info: The Bills are keeping their plans for the starters close to the vest, and there’s a few different factors in play, but the most important thing to understand... They want the 2 seed.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 3, 2021
They are playing for the 2 seed.