Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Buffalo Bills fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.
It’s Week 17 of the 2022 NFL season, and we want to know how you’re feeling, Bills Mafia! Every week of the season, we’ll ask fans if they’re confident the team is headed in the right direction — and more of the most pressing questions facing the coming game. Let us know what you think!
The Buffalo Bills found themselves in the middle of yet another massive winter storm ahead of their Week 16 game against the Chicago Bears. Except this time, the weather proved more of a challenge to the on-field product — and it prevented the team from getting back to Buffalo ahead of Christmas Day. The sunny circumstances in Chicago belied the real struggle within the confines of Soldier Field. Wind and dangerous cold put a lid on much of Buffalo’s passing game, though Josh Allen still did Josh Allen things when necessary. But a strong commitment to the run game in the second half by offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey helped lift the Bills to victory.
While wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a forgetful day, hauling in just two catches for 26 yards, Buffalo’s group of key pass catchers made chain-moving plays when the chips were down. In total, Josh Allen found nine different receivers and managed to put the ball in the end zone twice. Allen’s passing played complementary ball to the Bills’ best rushing performance of the season. Buffalo’s defense played impressively, limiting the effectiveness of quarterback Justin Fields as a runner — holding him to just 11 yards on seven carries.
Up next is the Week 17 primetime matchup with the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals, winners of seven straight games. The weather should be far more hospitable this week, located just far enough south of Lake Erie. But that also means a far more potent passing attack from quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ uber-talented trio of receivers (Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd).
The Bills need to win if they want to retain the top seed in the AFC and ensure the playoffs travel through Orchard Park, NY deep into the postseason. Should Buffalo claim victory on Monday Night Football, they will hold tiebreakers over both the Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs, with just one week left in the regular season.
Week 17 is as close to a playoff game as it gets in the regular season and the Bills will need to prepare as such each week, from here on out. No pressure, right?
So, tell us by voting below: How confident are you in the direction of the Bills?