Are the Buffalo Bills Back?


The Bills have bounced back with two wins after a rough stretch. (Courtesy of Twitter)

 At the beginning of the NFL season, there was one team that stood above the rest of the league: the Buffalo Bills. This past off-season, the Bills went out and made their already stellar team even better by signing Super Bowl champion outside linebacker Von Miller. Through the first seven weeks of the season, Buffalo appeared unstoppable, with their only loss to the Miami Dolphins in 95-degree heat. In that seven week stretch, Buffalo beat some of the best teams in the league. The opening game of the season against the reigning Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams was a great win to start off. Another important comeback win was against the Baltimore Ravens where Buffalo won the game on a walk-off field goal. While all the Bills wins were impressive, one victory stands out above the rest: taking down the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs in their home.  

Continued success is never allowed in Buffalo, and the wheels began to fall off the Bills wagon once they went to East Rutherford, N.J. to face the Jets. The Bills receivers were lost in the sauce all game long. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and the rest of the Jets defense held the Bills receivers to zero passing touchdowns. The Bills defense also had no ability to stop the Jets running game. Throughout the game, Jets running backs combined to have 174 yards and one touchdown on the ground. The Bills had no ability to gain any true momentum throughout the game. 

Another thorn in the Bills side that occurred during the Jets game happened on the Bills final drive, when Josh Allen injured his UCL on his throwing arm. Since that injury, Allen has not looked like himself. Throughout his career, Allen has looked impeccable in the red zone. This season, however, something is off. Allen has thrown five red zone interceptions in the last six games, and his injury is no help to this problem. 

As the Minnesota Vikings game kicked off in Buffalo in week 10, the outlook for the Bills appeared to be good. At the end of the first half, the score was 24-10 in favor of the Bills. However, the Bills collapsed in the second half. Throughout the rest of the game, the Bills were only able to score on two field goals while the Vikings were able to mount a 23-point comeback as Dalvin Cook rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown. Allen did not look like himself yet again. He had another red zone interception along with a fumble in the endzone with 37 seconds remaining after the Bills defense was able to hold Kirk Cousins on fourth down at the half-yard line. Panic was beginning to set in for Buffalo fans.  

The Bills were in dire need of something to go their way. However, they had nearly seven feet of snow in their way. Upwards of 77 inches of snow fell in Buffalo forcing the NFL to move the Bills game on Nov. 20 against the Cleveland Browns Ford Field in Detroit. Going into this game, the Bills knew they had to dig themselves out of the situation they had put themselves in. The Browns turned out to be the rebound Buffalo needed in their 31-23 victory. In this game, the Bills were able to score a second-half touchdown for the first time since that staple win against the Chiefs in week six. Allen was able to keep the interceptions away and throw a touchdown to Stefon Diggs. 

The Bills entered Detroit for the second time in five days on Thanksgiving, looking for another win. Buffalo wanted to prove they were back to a national audience, as games on Thanksgiving typically have high viewership numbers. Detroit was also hungry, as they were on their first three-game win streak since 2017. Buffalo wanted to demolish the worst defense in the NFL for all to see. The Lions came to play, as Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown were in sync all game long. St. Brown recorded 122 yards and a receiving touchdown. This also coincided with Allen and his receivers having a connection all game long. Diggs and Isaiah McKenzie combined for 173 yards and two receiving touchdowns. However, there were still some struggles for Allen. He threw another red zone interception and had many other errant throws during the game. The game ultimately came to kicker Tyler Bass, as he was able to hit a 45-yard field goal to win the game for Buffalo.

Even though there are still many challenges the Buffalo Bills will have to overcome in their upcoming games, there is no need to sound the alarm just yet. This time last year, the Bills had a 7-6 record and were still able to make a deep run into the playoffs. As long as Buffalo is able to secure a playoff spot, they will be able to blossom then. As the Bills await the return of many injured players, fans know they will have to bear the winter storm to come out stronger as a team.