The Buffalo Bills have not won a post-season game since the 1995 season. Sean McDermott and his team are on track to not only reach the playoffs for the second year on the bounce, but also win the AFC East for the first in 25 years. The performances of Josh Allen are giving Bills Mafia dreams of a potential Super Bowl triumph, although they will have to navigate a tricky looking AFC Conference. Unlike past years, the conference features a number of quality outfits, including the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bill might be able to work their way to the top of the AFC East, but earning a passage through to play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy will be a massive challenge. It is highlighted by their NFL odds on bet365 at +800 to win the AFC Conference, behind the Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. They have high hopes of doing greater than previous seasons, especially when the New England Patriots ruled the roost. McDermott and company slayed their metaphorical dragon by beating the Patriots – albeit a team in the process of a rebuild without Tom Brady. However, that could be a vital step for their confidence to take on their illustrious opponents down the stretch.
Allen was below par against New England, but he bounced back with a brilliant outing against the Seattle Seahawks. There was talk suggesting that the 24-year-old could be an MVP candidate due to his brilliance in September. Allen’s struggles in October pushed him out of the reckoning, but he has thrown himself back into the race by downing Seattle with a four-touchdown performance, defeating a rival in the form of Russell Wilson in the process. It bodes very well for the future considering the players he will have to match in the AFC playoff race.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will be there in the post-season. They look incredibly dangerous and can seemingly score from anywhere on the field. The Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers found that even a significant lead is not enough against Mahomes and company. Allen will need to match the performance of Mahomes and perhaps even better it in a potential duel with the Chiefs quarterback. Their defence is not comparable to the Seahawks, but Allen and his team-mates have the talent to match them score-for-score if their performances in the first half of the campaign can be believed.
The Steelers are perhaps more balanced than the Chiefs. Their defence is stout, while Ben Roethlisberger and his offense can put enough points on the board to edge out victories. This matchup more than most would not suit the Bills. Pittsburgh have experience and the ability to dig out close games, while their defence can limit the threat of Allen. On the positive side, the two sides do meet in the regular season. It will give McDermott and his men a chance to measure themselves against a side on course for the top seed in the conference.
The Ravens are the final team that have stronger odds than the Bills at present. Lamar Jackson failed to rise to the occasion in the post-season last season against the Titans. Last season’s MVP has not been the enigmatic threat that terrorised defences in late 2019. Baltimore still have a strong defence, but with Jackson struggling to connect with his receivers against quality opponents, there would be a path to victory for the Bills, especially on home soil.
Buffalo have been excellent to take control of the AFC East. They appear to be on course to end the Patriots’ dominance of the division, but taking the next step to win the conference will require a flawless effort from all concerned.