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The Buffalo Bills just finished the 2023 NFL regular season, having claimed victory over the Miami Dolphins and their fourth-consecutive AFC East Divisional title — the third time in franchise history for the club to have accomplished that divisional feat.
Most of Bills Mafia is well aware of what their favorite team accomplished last weekend — triumphantly rebounding from a .500 record of 6-6 heading into their late-season bye, to finish 11-6 and on a five-game winning streak. If Buffalo is to reach their lofty goals, losing cannot enter the fray.
Thankfully the Bills exited their South Beach soirée winners, but there were a lot of nervous eyes watching the first three quarters unfold. After finding themselves at a loss to stop Miami’s rushing attack in the first half, Buffalo’s defense clamped down and all but eliminated any threat of a Dolphins run game in the second half. That proved instrumental to the team mounting a comeback, which began with wide receiver/return specialist Deonte Harty’s team-record 96-yard punt return touchdown as the fourth quarter began. The Bills’ ability to more meaningfully manipulate the line of scrimmage on defense allowed them to better control the clock and field position in crunch time.
In the end, it was Buffalo’s defense and safety Taylor Rapp grabbing the win — stealing a pass outside the numbers by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to seal the game and defend their division crown.
Just as the NFL and NBC hoped, Bills-Dolphins was every bit of the entertaining drama fans have come to expect on the national stage. But was Buffalo’s victory in Hard Rock Stadium the sort of confidence-boosting moment Bills Mafia needed heading into the playoffs?
The Buffalo Bills have essentially operated with a playoff mentality the last five weeks. It worked well for their regular-season goals, but the stakes are much bigger now. Do you believe the Bills are battle-tested enough and capable of overcoming injury to survive what should be a very physical playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers?
How confident are you in the current direction of the Bills and their ability to win on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend? Vote now... and sound off in the comments!