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Bills Reacts Survey, playoffs edition: Are you confident in Buffalo’s direction?


New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

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.
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It’s officially time for the playoffs, and we want to know how you’re feeling, Bills Mafia! So once more this season, we’re asking fans if they’re confident the team is headed in the right direction. Let us know what you think!

The Bills are 13-3 — a once-highly coveted mark for a 16-game season. But they play 17 games in the NFL now, even numbers be damned. That lost game was monumental, most of all because safety Damar Hamlin nearly lost his life on the field. But also, playing that game would have put in play two possible outcomes: The Bills would have either been first in the AFC (tiebreaker over same-record Kansas City Chiefs) with a win or, at worst, in third place behind those Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals with loss.

But the Bills and Bengals didn’t finish their Monday Night Football clash, and it continues to be a major talking point for fans and analysts all over the country and beyond. But stop and think about the following for a few seconds. The Bills have lost three games by a total of eight points. Eight points. Eight.

In a season where the team endured so much trauma — both internally and publicly, individually and alongside their Buffalo neighbors — they came out the end having won all but three games. Those loses felt huge, mostly due to falling twice to divisional foes, but also the absolutely devastating way they dropped an unforgettable home game to the Minnesota Vikings.

But Buffalo hasn’t lost since that overtime game against Minnesota. A devastating loss that may have galvanized the team toward its ultimate goal. True, they were media darlings early on and for much of the 2022 NFL season, the preordained Super Bowl Champions. But how often have teams pegged as such simply fallen flat during the season? That’s not these Buffalo Bills. They’re a team with the feel of destiny as their co-pilot.

It’s hard to ignore some of the incredible things that have happened since Hamlin suffered a traumatic cardiac arrest. Those superstitious enough will gladly recite the uncanny “3” associations since he was hospitalized — chief among them kick returner and running back Nyheim Hines’ opening kickoff return touchdown in Week 18 that came exactly three years and three months after the franchise’s last kickoff TD.

With all the team has battled through this season, you’ll pardon me if I don’t personally find a reason to be skeptical of the team’s direction. Now, more than ever, it feels like Buffalo found the best head coach — no, the only head coach — to direct a truly special group of people.

But winning in the postseason won’t be easy. At one point a punching bag for their inability to win close games (hello, they only lost three games), the Bills seem to have mastered the art of the close win. That will be key in these playoffs. It starts this weekend against the Miami Dolphins, whom the Bills split the season with and edged out in scoring 51-50. Should they win, they’ll find no rest among a field of top-shelf contenders.

Confidence breeds success, something Buffalo is finally once again no stranger to in the NFL. It’s likely the team has dedicated this season to Damar Hamlin, and you can bet their goals are mighty. It’s time for the show, one we hope will be filled with their greatest hits.

If you’re not confident in the direction of the Bills, sound off in the comments. Has the season-long exposure to trauma become too much? Maybe you’re concerned the team could lose its second offensive coordinator in as many seasons, with the Carolina Panthers already requesting an opportunity to interview rookie offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. Besides the potential of losing Dorsey, is there reason to think the interview could be a distraction during the playoffs?

So tell us by voting below: Are you confident the Bills are headed in the right direction?