The Buffalo Bills are still top four in Vegas odds to win the Super Bowl. They are not, however, the daring out-of-the-box lock that they were a year ago. I’m sure they’re losing sleep over it too. Just give them a little more motivation to succeed and see what happens. Here’s what happens, broken down into ‘Quarters’. Division dominance is the key to the season, and as laid out in the next few paragraphs, the Bills completely dominate the AFC East.
Evaluating the Four Quarters of the Bills Schedule
First Quarter: Weeks 1-5 Jets, Raiders, Commanders, Dolphins, and Jaguars (in London).
This portion of the schedule is odd and a bit deceiving. If the Bills were playing the Jets in New Jersey later in the season then this game would give me pause, but the Bills defense is too good to lose to the Jets this early in the season. Raiders and Commanders are relatively easy wins.
The Dolphins play the Bills tough, but this is in WNY, edge to the Bills. Everyone seems to be so high on the Jaguars. I think they are a better team, sure, but in the same tier as the Bills (or Kansas City for that matter)? Nope. Plus, the game is being played in London. The Bills HAVE to make it through this first quarter of the season with a 4-1 record at worst. I think they go 5-0.
Second Quarter: Weeks 6-9 Giants, Patriots, Buccaneers, Bengals
This is a soft chewy sandwich with glass for bread. The Giants are for real and I think they will be more prepared for this game than the Bills will. I wouldn’t call it a bad loss, but the Bills lose and get a reality check. The next two games are cake, a tasty revenge cake where they soundly beat the ‘Brady’ teams and feel better about themselves.
The feeling doesn’t last as the Bills have to go to Cincy and have a week of ridiculous hype-filled media coverage before losing a heartbreaker to the Cincy Kitties on a bogus missed penalty call and a long kick from McPherson. The Bills go 2-2 in this stretch and have a 7-2 record.
Third Quarter: Weeks 10-14 (includes bye week) Broncos, Jets, Eagles, BYE, Chiefs
The Bills take out their frustrations from the Sunday Night loss to the Bengals on the Broncos and embarrass them. Then, as if Quarter #3 wasn’t rough enough, now you get a Jets team that has settled in with Aaron Rodgers and most likely has a winning record. I originally had this game as a loss for the Bills but now I think they pull out a win, a lucky win but a win nonetheless, chalk it up to home-field advantage.
Then they have to take on the Super Bowl teams of last year, both games on the road. Even with the Bye week in between them, the attrition of a football season shows through on the worn-down Bills, and they lose both games; they look good doing it, both games are shootouts, but they take consecutive Ls and go 2-2 in this Quarter. The Bills limp out of their third quarter with a 9-4 record.
Fourth Quarter: Weeks 15-18 Cowboys, Chargers, Patriots, Dolphins
Playoff talk permeates the media conversation as the Bills take on two straight opponents who have their sights poised on postseason wildcard births. All you have to do is compare Allen vs Prescott and you have the winner of the Dallas game. The next week may well be a preview of a playoff game as the Chargers host the Bills. It mostly lives up to the hype and the Bills run the ball well in the fourth quarter and get the W. The Bills have a division lead, but the Jets are not far behind, so these last two games mean a lot in the seeding and playoff hopes for Buffalo.
It’s another payback beatdown of New England to win the division, then a very tough road game in Miami to close out the regular season that could go either way. At this point, I think Miami is eliminated from the playoffs but a win for the Bills secures the #2 seed so they play with meaning and wear down the Fins. It’s not a pretty win but still a valuable one. Buffalo finishes the regular season 4-0 and seems to have righted the ship. The Bills finish with a 13-4 record and vow not to repeat the mistakes of the 2022 playoffs.
The Bills start the season hot and end the season on fire and endure a very competitive middle of the season in order to make it to the playoffs. They avenge the loss to Cincinnati (both this year’s and the playoff debacle of last year) and finally edge out KC with a Diggs MVP performance. They go on to win the Lombardi trophy against the Eagles and win the hearts of fans all over the world.
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