The Buffalo Bills lost the AFC Championship Game following the 2020 season, and with an MVP candidate, were expected to play for a trip to the Super Bowl again in 2021. A bitter, heartbreaking loss found them in the AFC divisional round, falling for the second straight year to the Kansas City Chiefs. But the 2021 team proved they could beat the Chiefs. No team in the AFC is better than the Buffalo Bills right now. It’s been a while since we could write that in all honesty.
The Bills brought in Von Miller from the Los Angeles Rams specifically to cause havoc in big games. He has experience doing that as a former Super Bowl MVP. He has stepped up in the monumental moments of the highest-level games, something quarterback Josh Allen also showed last year even in defeat. When Allen left the field, Buffalo had the lead. Now it’s Miller and company’s job to make sure they keep it.
Buffalo once again completely revamped their defensive line in an attempt to slow the high-powered offenses around the NFL and get through the Chiefs, the Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers—and any other team that will step up to them in key moments. They added an athletic coverage cornerback with their first-round pick of Kaiir Elam for the same reason. They seemingly plugged all their perceived holes, then they added enviable depth across their roster.
Expectations are sky-high, as DraftKings Sportsbook still has the Bills as the betting line favorites to win the whole thing at Super Bowl 57 in Arizona. That’s the stuff dreams are made of, but I don’t think we’re asleep right now. The Bills have every piece in place to get that giant franchise-sized monkey off their back.
It’s hard to predict there won’t be bumps along the way and challenges to overcome. They have a new offensive play-caller who has never honed that skill at any level of football. Everyone’s a year older and some of the key veterans have potentially lost a step. Their best defensive player (arguably) is starting the season working back from an ACL tear. The Bills are playing a first-place schedule, including the entire bruising AFC North and the Super Bowl champion Rams. They’re going to be pulled out of their cushy routine for at least six games outside the normal Sunday afternoon window.
None of that is going to matter, we hope. The Bills are on the path to the Super Bowl, they just have to take the baby steps each day to get there.
DraftKings has the Bills winning 11.5 games during the regular season. It’s the highest number on the board shared with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Buffalo has won more than 11 games just once since 1993, when they went 13-3 in 2021. I think it’s the perfect over/under.
I tend to lean toward the conservative side of the equation for record predictions, but this year I’m taking the over. I’ve got the Bills going 12-5 in the regular season. In 2021, that was the best record in the conference and could secure the number-one seed in the AFC with the AFC North and AFC West hopefully beating up their own divisions.
I can’t predict that they’re going to win the Super Bowl, but if they don’t win the division to host a playoff game, the season will be a disappointment. If they play their way into the divisional round or beyond, they have a better shot than most.