Anyone associated with the NFL will tell you it’s very difficult to win in the league. That it’s not so much how a team finds victory, but that they manage to do it at all. While every team wants to play mistake-free football and put up gaudy stats, sometimes the opponent has other plans.
The Buffalo Bills found that to be the case in recent weeks, winning “ugly” games against the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots. In LA, the offense didn’t want to hang on to the ball a few times, forcing the need for a late rally to take the lead.
While hosting the Patriots, more special teams gaffes put the Bills in an immediate 7-0 hole. Making matters worse was the fact that Buffalo’s offense struggled to do anything the entire first half — this, despite having been gifted four turnovers by the defense. Josh Allen looked complete out of sorts most of the afternoon, and the team was lucky to escape with a one-score victory.
Despite the struggles against teams already eliminated from the playoffs, the Bills did manage to win. Doing so has positioned them at 10-6 and in contention to claim the organization’s fourth-consecutive AFC East Divisional trophy — and the two seed if they win in Week 18. To think that any of this would be possible after falling to 6-6 at the claws of the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11 was best left to daydreaming. But here they are, ready to meaningfully defend the AFC East.
Fan confidence is a fickle thing, and our weekly charts have shown that to be true. People often dread their favorite team’s future due to the past, both distant and recent. Right now, the Bills’ offense doesn’t appear to have hit its stride, even considering the rushing performance against the Dallas Cowboys. Thankfully the offensive line is playing spectacular football in nearly every realm, but something’s quite off with the overall passing game beyond the line of scrimmage (and also in terms of a putrid screen game).
It would seem that a large percentage of Bills Mafia are concerned about the team’s chances moving forward. Following the team’s disposal of Dallas, confidence per our weekly poll was at 89%. Confidence among voters then dipped to 83% after the come-from-behind win against the Chargers. So where does that leave things following a tough, ugly win against an AFC East foe that defeated them earlier in the season?
This week, fan confidence has dropped all the way to 67%. (You’ll have to take my word for this as we have no graphic to share this week. )
Sixty-seven percent. I asked if those numbers were correct, due to such a significant drop. After multiple tabulations, it was always the same number. If you’re curious, over at The Phinsider, fan confidence plummeted from 94% to 58% this week. A reminder that it can always be worse.
Your 10-6 Buffalo Bills have put together a four-game winning streak and now face a depleted Miami Dolphins team for the division, and the two seed. Even better — they’re playing at night in South Florida, so the oppressive humidity and heat from the often ever-present sun won’t be factors. Yet somehow, barely two-thirds of fans are confident things are headed in the right direction.
While there are plenty of areas to improve, not every defensive-minded coach is Bill Belichick. Clearly, he find something to exploit within Josh Allen’s game this season — regardless of who called the plays. While a forgettable first half against New England left most scratching their heads, interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady made adjustments at halftime and Allen found his groove for the most part.
Have you lost confidence in this year’s team, in certain aspects of the team? Do you believe head coach Sean McDermott and interim offensive coordinator have what it takes to get it done in the coming weeks — or are execution errors too common and detrimental to offensive success?
Each week from here on out, the Bills will have to prove they have what it takes, and play their best football. Failing that, Buffalo may find itself out of the playoffs for the first time since 2018. May they find their offensive groove quickly, in order to hold back the offseason talk and NFL Draft preparation.