We Find Out If the Buffalo Bills Are for Real This Week

17 October 2020

Buffalo Bills

If you ask a member of the Bills Mafia, they will likely tell you that the Buffalo Bills are going to win the division, conference, and Super Bowl along with Josh Allen being named MVP. Except for their last game, it looked like at least some of that could happen.

But if you ask someone who’s more of a fan of the game and not a diehard Bills fan, they will probably be a little more pragmatic. It is not that they do not appreciate the strong start the team has gotten off to this season or how well Josh Allen has been playing.

They probably remember the last time this happened for the Buffalo Bills—the 2008 season.

The 2008 Buffalo Bills

Trent Edwards, a former first-round pick out of Tulane, was the starting quarterback. While he did not play as well as Allen has to start the season, he did lead the team to a 4-0 start. Much like Allen’s Bills last week, the ’08 team was destroyed in Week Five (42-17).

But then they rebounded in Week Six with a nice win over the San Diego Chargers (23-14).

All appeared to be right in their world. Yes, the loss was a bad one. But the Bills rebounded and improved to 5-1. They still looked like contenders, and fans believed the long-awaited return to the playoffs could happen that year—but it did not.

Instead, the Bills lost eight of their last ten to finish. They finished with a 7-9 record and out of the playoffs once again.

So, yeah—fans that remember the ’08 season are probably wondering if history is going to repeat itself here. They are worried that the team is not as good as they have appeared to be; that the team will fall flat on its metaphorical face the rest of the way.

It has happened before. So– why not now?

For one, because this Bills team has more talent, and they are ready for success. They will have a chance to prove it is this week against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills

When teams take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, the recipe for success is simple:

  • Keep Mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field. He can’t score if he isn’t playing. This usually entails running the ball and running it well.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity, whether it’s a turnover, a big play, or something else. Every time you get within scoring range, put points on the board—touchdowns, not field goals.
  • Play a perfect game. If you make mistakes, the Chiefs will capitalize on them.
  • Don’t be afraid to take chances and go deep (doing so worked out well for the Raiders last week).

Of course, knowing what to do and being able to do it are two different things. Their offensive line is decent, and Devin Singletary is good, but they do not win games with the ground attack (28th in the league; 93.8 yards/game).

This year, the Bills are more of a passing team. With Allen throwing darts so far, and a trio of receivers like Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and John Brown, they should be. That doesn’t mean much for controlling the ball. But the Bills have done so anyway this season, averaging 31:44 in time of possession.

So, the Bills may not be able to keep Mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field as much as they would like to. That means they will have to go to Plan B—outscore the offensive machine that is the Kansas City Chiefs.

Buffalo has the second-best passing attack in the NFL right now with 308 yards/game; the Chiefs are in fourth with about 20 yards a game less. However, the Chiefs defense is no slouch this year. While they do give up quite a few yards (especially in the run game), they are a top-ten scoring team.

Odds and Prediction

Spread: Chiefs -4.5

Moneyline: Chiefs -230; Bills +200

Over/Under: 57.5

The Bills do not have the kind of defense that can frustrate Patrick Mahomes too much, and they do not have a run game that can eat up the clock either. They will need to push the ball downfield, make some big plays, and score some points. 

Should Mahomes and the Chiefs offense come out flat, the Bills could get out to an early lead and maybe even hold them off. But Mahomes will try and control the narrative more so than he did last week. He will be more focused and will make sure everyone else is, too.

Allen and the Bills will make it a good game, but they are not in the same league as the Chiefs. Do not expect the Bills to win this one, straight up or against the spread.

However, another loss will not mean the end for the Buffalo Bills. They have a good team in place, and could still win the division. It just isn’t a great team—yet.

Betting Pick: Chiefs -4.5

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

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