Do you remember when the Buffalo Bills “couldn’t win one-score games”?
The narrative around the team was that they couldn’t seal the deal in close games. The Bills had lost so many contests that were within one score that they weren’t a Super Bowl contender, right?
Four of Buffalo’s last five wins have now come in one-score games, including their playoff-clinching victory over the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night. It should also be noted that the Bills were up by a couple touchdowns in a few of these games, with late scores bringing it to the single-score differential:
- Buffalo beats Miami, 32-29
- Bills beat Jets, 20-12
- Bills top Patriots by two scores, 24-10 (our lone outlier)
- Bills wins on Thanksgiving over Lions, 28-25
- Buffalo beats Cleveland, 31-23
In fact, half of Buffalo’s 12 wins have been in one-score games in 2022, which should put to rest that narrative. Right?!
Prior to the Bills’ current run that began November 20, they were on a cold streak in one-score games. Buffalo was 2-9 since the start of 2021:
- 2022: 30-33 loss to Minnesota Vikings
- 2022: 17-20 loss to New York Jets
- 2022: 24-20 win over Kansas City Chiefs
- 2022: 23-20 win over Baltimore Ravens
- 2022: 19-21 loss to Miami Dolphins
- 2021: 36-42 loss to Chiefs in playoffs
- 2021: 27-33 loss to Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime
- 2021: 10-14 loss to Patriots
- 2021: 6-9 loss to Jacksonville Jaguars
- 2021: 31-34 loss to Titans
- 2021: 16-23 loss to PIttsburgh Steelers
It doesn’t mean the Bills became closers, or even that they improved in critical football situations. It’s a regression to the mean. The Bills caught breaks in some of their wins they didn’t get in the losses. In a game of inches, that was enough to tip the balance. Josh Allen slipped a year ago against the Tennessee Titans, and he threw one at the feet of his receiver this year against the Dolphins early in the season. Against Miami on Saturday night, Allen fumbled on consecutive drives, but the Bills were able to recover one — and at the end of the first half, he threaded in a touchdown with no time left instead of making sure the team got points before halftime.
At the very least, it’s a narrative we can put to bed.