The Buffalo Bills had the Kansas City Chiefs beat when they scored on fourth-and-13 with 1:54 left. They actually had the Chiefs buried when they scored once again with 13 seconds left.
Thirteen seconds. The expression will reside in infamy around Buffalo. It will end up being intolerable if this Bills group never ever wins a Super Bowl.
If you aren’t a Bills fan, you keep in mind that divisional round video game as maybe the best video game in NFL history. You can commemorate Josh Allen for an amazing efficiency in a loss. Maybe you can see it as the start of an excellent feel-good story for the Bills, which ends with a long-awaited Super Bowl win.
Bills fans most likely do not remember it that method. Losing among the excellent all-time NFL video games is simply a loss. You must never ever lose a video game in which you score the consent goal with 13 seconds left. The series of the Chiefs getting in position for a game-tying basket (after the Bills didn’t squib the kickoff to burn time), Buffalo losing the overtime coin toss and Patrick Mahomes directing a game-winning overtime drive will be haunting. It injures much more since of the missed out on chance.
The Bills had a great group last season. They had an MVP-level quarterback and a defense that led the NFL in points and backyards enabled. Had the Bills hung on to beat the Chiefs, they would have hosted an AFC national championship. Buffalo might have won a Super Bowl.
“We’re all hurt, sick to our stomach,” Bills coach Sean McDermott stated after the video game, through the Buffalo News. “You move on and you try to get yourself to learn from it. But it stings. It stings. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It stings.”
If this is a film, the Bills raise the Lombardi Trophy next February in Glendale, Arizona, burying all of the playoff heartbreaks of the past and providing an excellent fanbase their very first Super Bowl title. In a best world “13 seconds” ends up being inspiration, not a curse.
“You can say it’s going to be better, we’re going to learn from this and it’s very cliché and nobody wants to hear that,” Allen said after the Chiefs loss, via the Buffalo News. “But I truly believe that this unit will learn from this. We’ve got a pretty young squad. A lot of guys coming back next year. We’ve just got to use this as fuel for the fire.”
There’s no factor the Bills can’t win a Super Bowl, besides it takes an excellent run of luck on top of champion skill. The Bills have the skill part down. Buffalo didn’t lose much in the offseason however included future Hall-of-Fame pass rush Von Miller. As Allen stated, it was a quite young group. The lineup must have some development capacity, in theory. On paper, there is no factor the Bills can’t take a huge action from last season, be the undoubted finest group in the NFL and win a champion. It’s all in location.
However, it does not constantly work that method. Bills fans who endured the early 1990s understand all too well that a very gifted group might still miss out on winning a Super Bowl. Still, if you provide yourself a possibility — and when you have what might be the very best defense and the very best offense in the NFL, you have a possibility — random variation must ultimately go your method.
The table is set for the Bills. They have an excellent opportunity to make something besides “13 seconds” their tradition.
It’s difficult to keep an excellent group together. Yet, the only genuine loss for Buffalo in the offseason was protective take on Harrison Phillips, and they changed him with DaQuan Jones. That must be a lateral relocation. They likewise included Tim Settle and Jordan Phillips to enhance the protective line depth. Cole Beasley is gone, however in between holdover Isaiah McKenzie and addition Jamison Crowder the slot receiver position must be much better. The Bills likewise discovered a method to make a huge finalizing, including pass rush Von Miller on a six-year, $120 million offer. That’s the type of aggressive relocation that can press a group over the top. The addition of guard Rodger Saffold can assist an offending line that is only average. The draft was strong. On another group, top-100 choices like CB Kaiir Elam, RB James Cook and POUND Terrel Bernard would most likely begin right now. On a deep Bills group, they’ll be fighting to take functions. Cook in specific might be a huge consider the offense right now.
The huge loss of the offseason was really offending organizer Brian Daboll, who was worked with to be the New York Giants’ next head coach. Daboll has actually been provided a great deal of credit for Josh Allen’s advancement, and we’ll learn how essential he was to Allen. It’s simply as most likely that Allen turned Daboll into a star, not vice versa. Daboll will be changed by Ken Dorsey, who was Buffalo’s quarterbacks coach last season. Dorsey has actually never ever been an offending organizer however there must be connection from that promo, which must assist Allen. There’s very little more to state about Allen as a gamer. The story of how he developed his enormous physical abilities to end up being an excellent quarterback will be the design template for all toolsy potential customers moving forward. Perhaps the Bills must cut down his running, since it’s putting a franchise quarterback in damage’s method frequently. Allen can still reduce his turnovers. But everybody must understand that Allen is a top-five NFL quarterback, more than efficient in winning NFL MVP this season and taking his group to the Super Bowl.
The Bills are the Super Bowl favorites at BetMGM with +600 chances. Josh Allen is the preferred to win NFL MVP at +700. The Bills are a strong -225 preferred to win the AFC East and their win overall of 11.5 is connected for the greatest in the NFL. Perhaps the most telling chances, in concerns to the Bills, is they’re a 1-point favorite at the ruling Super Bowl champ Los Angeles Rams in Week 1. You might like the Bills this season, however everybody else does too and the wagering market shows that. Even at those chances I would accept bets for the Bills to win the Super Bowl and Allen to win MVP. Just do not anticipate a substantial payment.
From Yahoo’s Scott Pianowski: “It’s seldom mentioned, but Gabriel Davis treaded water in his second season. His yards per catch dropped 1.4 yards, and his yards per target fell by a full yard. His counting stats were roughly the same. But all everyone wants to focus on is the four-touchdown explosion he threw at Kansas City in the playoffs, conveniently coming in the NFL’s best game of the year.
“So the summer season rate is approaching on Davis, a buzzy breakout prospect. Although his NFFC ADP is 60 for the balance of draft season, it has actually increased to 52.55 considering that July 1 — the arrow is pointing up. Cognizant that the Bills still have an avalanche of ability talent, beginning with Stefon Diggs, I’m unwilling to pay an expectant rate for Davis at the draft table. Unless you can land Davis outside the Top 70, and in some Yahoo swimming pools you may be able to, I’m not going to spend for the breakout like it’s currently occurred.”
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The Buffalo Bills’ passer rating allowed last season was 65.3. Among all regular NFL starting quarterbacks last season, Zach Wilson of the New York Jets had the worst rating at 69.7. The 2021 Bills defense turned the quarterbacks they faced, on average, into a worse version of Wilson. One issue with the Bills repeating that is cornerback Tre’Davious White is coming off a torn ACL he suffered last Thanksgiving. White, an elite corner at his best, started training camp on the PUP list. White could be ready for the start of the season or shortly after, but we’ll see if he regains his old form. The Bills are elite at safety and have made multiple investments in the pass rush and front seven as a whole, so perhaps cornerback won’t be a problem even if White doesn’t rebound quickly. First-round pick Kaiir Elam could also help right away.
How does Josh Allen’s supporting cast look?
Stefon Diggs didn’t repeat his ridiculous 2020 season, but he was still one of the best receivers in the NFL. Gabriel Davis went off in the playoffs against the Chiefs for 201 yards and four touchdowns, and should have a big third season. Isaiah McKenzie had an eye-opening 11-125-1 line in a game at New England when pressed into duty, and should be a productive slot receiver. If he falters, Jamison Crowder has had a good career in that role. Dawson Knox scored nine touchdowns last season and is a little overrated as a result, but he’s still a fine tight end in a stacked offense.
The big question is running back, and it’s possible second-round pick James Cook adds a new element to the offense. The Bills tried to sign free-agent pass-catching back J.D. McKissic, but he backed out of a deal to stay with the Washington Commanders. They clearly want a pass-catching back to go with holdover starter Devin Singletary, and Cook was very good in that role at Georgia. Allen lagged well behind other top quarterbacks in his receivers’ yards after catch last season, and Cook can help fix that. There are plenty of targets for Allen to work with.
No reasonable superlative seems too outlandish for the Bills. Josh Allen could lead the NFL in passing yards and win an MVP. Stefon Diggs could lead the NFL in receiving yards. James Cook could be the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year. The defense could be ranked first in the NFL. The offense could be ranked first in the NFL. Buffalo could win 15 games or … more? And yes, Buffalo, the Bills can win a Super Bowl.
The expectations for a team that has made one conference championship game since the 1993 season — and lost that AFC title game by two touchdowns — are enormous. Buffalo is a great football city, but that can be a burden at times. The Los Angeles Rams can blend in. Every day this season, the Bills will hear about what a Super Bowl would mean to Buffalo. There’s unmistakable pressure as the Super Bowl favorite in a football-mad city like that. While it’s hard to see a way in which the Bills aren’t a contender, perhaps the offense takes a step back without Brian Daboll calling plays and the defense slips due to some normal regression. It’s also worth noting an AFC East title last season was far from assured after the New England Patriots won a Week 13 game at Buffalo in extreme weather conditions. I don’t think the Patriots or Miami Dolphins can beat the Bills for a division title, but one of those teams could test Buffalo. Even if the Bills win the division with a great record, the expectation is to make a Super Bowl. At least. There’s an incredible amount of weight on the franchise’s shoulders heading into the season.
It will be boring to pick the Bills to win the Super Bowl, because they’re the obvious pick. But it’s an obvious pick for a reason. The Bills were a step short of great last season, going 11-6 in the regular season, but an 0-6 record (including playoffs) in one-possession games speaks to the upside this group has. The Bills could win 14 or 15 games with reasonable injury luck and a positive regression in close games. There are other teams with Super Bowl potential in the NFL, but no team matches Buffalo’s upside. They’re the best team, on paper, in the NFL and a rightful Super Bowl favorite. Bills fans deserve to celebrate a Super Bowl championship. It should happen this season.
32. Houston Texans
31. Atlanta Falcons
30. New York Giants
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
28. Chicago Bears
27. New York Jets
26. Seattle Seahawks
25. Detroit Lions
24. Carolina Panthers
23. Washington Commanders
22. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Minnesota Vikings
20. Miami Dolphins
19. New Orleans Saints
18. Las Vegas Raiders
17. Arizona Cardinals
16. Tennessee Titans
15. Cleveland Browns
14. Indianapolis Colts
13. Philadelphia Eagles
12. San Francisco 49ers
11. Denver Broncos
10. Cincinnati Bengals
9. New England Patriots
8. Los Angeles Chargers
7. Baltimore Ravens
6. Green Bay Packers
5. Dallas Cowboys
4. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2. Los Angeles Rams