“I’m picking an Arctic Circle Super Bowl: Buffalo-Green Bay,” King said. “And I’m picking the Bills to get off the 0-4, three-decades-old, wide-right schneid to win the first Super Bowl in franchise history. Portable tables of western New York, beware.”
King went on to say that it’s no secret that the AFC is “absolutely loaded” with ten teams that have legitimate rights to thinking they will be playing football in late January, and that, while not as deep, the NFC has several teams that can be considered serious threats, including the reigning Super Bowl champs. But, King didn’t back down from his prediction.
“Buffalo is ridiculously formidable. Lots can change in five months, but Buffalo’s got the best roster in football. Including the most dangerous quarterback.”
King points back to January when the Bills hosted the New England Patriots and Josh Allen executed a perfect game as Buffalo systematically dismantled their long-time AFC East rival as the starting point for his belief in the 2022 Buffalo Bills.
“How many times has Bill Belichick been embarrassed in his coaching career, really just taken to the woodshed?” King asked his readers. “That’s what the Bills did that night. That’s what Josh Allen did. I was sure I was watching the Super Bowl winner.”
Of course, history shows that it was not to be as eight days later the Bills fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in a 42-36 overtime loss that left fans numb from the now infamous “13-seconds”, but King said that there was good to come from that, and that that good is what will change it all for Buffalo this season.
“There was one major benefit to the heartbreak in Missouri—it forced GM Brandon Beane to buttress the pass-rush by paying huge money for a 33-year-old edge player, Von Miller,” King said. “Now, Miller’s probably going to the Hall of Fame one day, and he upgrades Buffalo’s rush immeasurably.”
As for offense, Josh Allen has a variety of targets in Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and Isaiah McKenzie to keep those passer ratings climbing, and King thinks it will be enough to win the fifth-year quarterback his first MVP award.
“Quarterbacks have won the MVP nine straight years and 14 of the past 15 years. Thus QBs going 1-2-3. Recently, MVP has traditionally gone to a quarterback on a top seed,” King said, predicting that the voting will end with Allen in first, followed by Justin Herbert (Chargers) and Lamar Jackson (Ravens). “That, plus Allen’s going to have a killer year.”
To add to his passing arsenal, Allen has a habit of getting things done with his legs when needed, and while that makes him unpredictable and can keep defenses off-balance, King said that fans may see a new version of the quarterback this year and that that new version may be the difference-maker.
King asked Allen what he did to improve his game over the offseason, and he said that the quarterback’s answer had less to do with throwing the ball than in past years.
““The first part of the off-season was very heavy in recovery,” Allen said. “Letting my body kinda heal up. I took a lot of dings last year. Understanding where I can be better in that process. Not taking hits, not taking useless hits. Getting out of bounds, sliding. In terms of just watching film and understanding when the decision is to maybe put the shoulder down or to slide or get out of bounds. I think that’s one aspect that I’ve started looking at and incorporating in my plan. The best part of ability is availability and I want to be available for this team.”
King said that he felt that the quarterback’s response was an indication that the team may be looking to have Allen, who averaged 105 rushes per season in four years, with a career-high 122 in 2021, cut down on the number of times he runs headfirst into an opposing defense.
“If that costs a few first downs in September and October, and if Allen’s fresher in January and February, it’s a wise change in his game,” King said.
King believes that the Bills have finally put all of the pieces together and this year will be the year they finally clear the last hurdle and bring the Lombardi Trophy to Buffalo.
“Buffalo was almost good enough to win it last year, as we all saw, marauding through the AFC playoffs with 83 points in eight quarters,” he said. “This year, I think they eliminate all doubts, and all doubters.”