The Buffalo Bills escaped yet another winter storm off the shores of Lake Erie in Week 15, defeating the Miami Dolphins in frigid conditions to lock up a spot in the playoffs. While the win wasn’t easy, it was no doubt impressive. That was especially true of the Bills’ performance in the fourth quarter, when Josh Allen delivered yet another clock-killing, game-winning drive for his team.
It’s fair to say that without the stellar play by Allen last Saturday, the Bills might not have exited the week with a victory. Once again, Allen paced Buffalo’s ground game, carrying 10 times for 77 yards, including an electric run of 44 yards. His number was called on the two-point conversion, and he made a play for the ages, leaping over a host of hostile Dolphins to greet the nose of the football with the most important white line on an NFL field.
His passing stats were marvelous as well, going 25-of-40 for 304 yards with four touchdowns. He found nine different receivers, and tossed TDs to an unlikely supporting cast of running backs James Cook and Nyheim Hines, and tight ends Quintin Morris and Dawson Knox.
Allen did all of this despite adverse weather conditions, and he played his best when the weather was dishing out its worst. But was this performance enough to reinsert his name at the top of the 2022 NFL MVP conversation? Better than two-thirds (68%) of Bills Mafia believe that’s the case.
The MVP race is likely down to four key players, all of them quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes is the odd-on-favorite at this point, with Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, and Allen all breathing down his neck. The Associated Press has changed the way the award will be decided, with voters providing five names on their ballots.
If Allen hopes to win the award, he’s going to need to perform well in Week 16 against the Chicago Bears, and despite what will certainly be very nasty weather conditions. While the Bears may not present the greatest of defensive challenges this season, they have a large fan base, and additional eyes will be on the game to see how things play out due to the storm.
Should Buffalo win at Soldier Field, Allen and the team must then go on to claim victory in Ohio, where the Bills face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17. A strong performance there in a winning effort would likely provide Allen his best odds at claiming the title in 2022. With a win, it would keep the Bengals from gaining the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture, and give the Bills tiebreakers over both the Kansas City Chiefs and Bengals.
No one circles the wagons like Bills Mafia
When the Bills won a tight-fought game against the New York Jets in Week 14, there were a fair number of fans who weren’t quite convinced the team was headed in the right direction. In fact, our weekly fan confidence poll dipped to 81%, after sitting at 91% after defeating the New England Patriots. It might just be that Bills Mafia isn’t taking the Jets seriously enough, due to their very unsettled situation at quarterback. It turns out that squishing the fish is still a favorite pastime of Bills fans. Currently, nearly all voters (96%) are on board with the direction of the Buffalo Bills.
It’s amazing what can change in a week within the NFL. It’s also clear that Bills Mafia trusts the talent level of the Dolphins more than many other teams. Time will tell if this chart continues to climb the hill.