Don’t panic, Buffalo: why the Bills are still positioned for a playoff seed – Buffalo Bills blog

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ORCHARD PARK, NY – Buffalo Bills players took different approaches to go from the Week 6 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Security Jordan Poyer invoked the 24-hour rule to pass losses. Quarterback Josh Allen referred to not dwell on it. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ approach was a bit simpler.

“Some wine,” Diggs joked.

While the Cincinnati Titans and Bengals solidified their claims last week as hot AFC teams with victories over the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, respectively, the Bills could not help but s’ sit and watch because they were goodbye – which didn’t come in handy. time.

“You never really want to sit down on a loss after a pass, just because of the feeling, you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible,” said coach Sean McDermott. “It gives us a chance to have truthful conversations… and to try to improve our football team in the future.”

Two losses in just six games in the season is not the ideal scenario, but panicking would be irrational. The Bills are still poised to finish as one of the seeds, if not the No.1 seed, in the AFC.

“We’re not practicing rolling the dice, saying it’s going to be okay,” Diggs said. “We return to work with the mindset we need to improve.”

The Bills are the best team in the NFL, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). And giving this team time to sit down and improve should scare the rest of the conference. Otherwise, why are the Bills so well placed?

Few weaknesses: Defense play at a similar level to 2019 and offense as a whole is having another solid season led by Allen. Not a bad way to follow an AFC Championship appearance.

Buffalo ranks in the top three for runs scored per game (33.8), runs awarded per game (16.3), rotation margin (plus-11), average starting field position (line of 33.4 yards) and the opponent’s average passing yards per game (180.5).

The Bills’ +105 point margin (second in the NFL behind the undefeated Arizona Cardinals) is the twelfth best in six games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger and the best for a team with a 4- record. 2 or worse since the merger.

Calendar: The remaining matches also play in favor of this team. The AFC Bills’ toughest opponents (Steelers, Chiefs and Titans) are a thing of the past.

The next four games pit opponents with record defeats: the Dolphins (1-6), Jaguars (1-5), Jets (1-5) and Colts (3-4). Nine of the team’s remaining 11 games are against opponents with records of .500 or worse, and FPI ranks the Bills’ remaining schedule as the second easiest in the NFL behind only the Philadelphia Eagles.

Favorable sharing: In the playoff standings, Buffalo currently sits fourth in the conference – leading the AFC East at 4-2. Three of the teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today are in the same division (Cincinnati, Baltimore and the Cleveland Browns). All four of the AFC North are in the top eight. These teams that face off multiple times should help the Bills in the AFC playoff standings. Meanwhile, the other three teams with Buffalo in the AFC East are 5-15 combined.

The cold-weather experience will also be on Buffalo’s side as three of the last four games of the season take place at Highmark Stadium.

Health: While many teams have riddled injury lists, the Bills have mostly been spared. The biggest absence so far will be tight end Dawson Knox, who will be missing at least this week with a broken right hand. Their roster moves were limited to a few changes in the practice squad due to other teams signing players from the Bills. Not a single trade has been made on the 53-player roster, outside of game day appeals – remarkable in the first seven weeks of the season.

To live: McDermott has worked with its coordinators for at least four years each. There is not much that can confuse this group.

“I believe in this football team,” McDermott said. “I think the rest remains to be seen in terms of the trend one week at a time.”

A game against the Miami Dolphins – arguably the NFL’s most disappointing team – Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS) is a chance to get back on track. When the teams met in Miami in Week 2, the Bills came away with a 35-0 win that sort of presented plenty of missed opportunities for Buffalo. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was injured in the game, but he will start this weekend and put in two solid performances, completing nearly 75% of his passes and throwing six touchdowns with three interceptions.

McDermott, however, is undefeated after a pass (4-0) and it’s an angry Bills team. Allen was named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week after three of his seven career games against the Dolphins.

“We’re not going to let a loss or two affect how we play, how we train, how we interact with each other in the locker room,” Allen said. “We’re going to keep trying to play our brand of football and maintain our type of caliber and our standard, which is playoff caliber.”

Translation for opponents: Be careful.


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