AllenJosh and the Buffalo Bills have emerged as perennial Super Bowl contenders, a welcome sight for a fanbase that endured nearly two decades without playoff football before breaking the drought in 2017. But a championship has remained elusive so far.
The Bills reached the AFC Championship Game before coming up short against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020. They met the same opposition in the divisional round last season and, after one of the wildest postseason games in history, were again eliminated by Patrick Mahomes and Co.
Buffalo’s front office has spent the offseason trying to rectify the problems that have prevented the organization from getting its hands on the Lombardi Trophy.
Most notably, the Buffalo Bills signed free agent edge rusher Von Miller to a six-year, $120 million contract, luring him away from the Los Angeles Rams. To win a championship, a team will undertake this type of action.
Among the significant signings in free agency were guard Roger Saffold, wide receiver Jamison Crowder, tight end OJ Howard, and three defensive tackles—DaQuan Jones, Tim Settle, and Jordan Phillips. They also drafted Kaiir Elam, a cornerback from Florida, in the first round.
As a result of the NFL’s release of its 2022 season schedule on Thursday, the resurgent Bills now know the path they must take to make another postseason berth.
2022 Buffalo Bills Schedule
𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐄 𝐈𝐓 𝐈𝐒‼️
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) May 13, 2022
There won’t be many “gimme” games in the AFC this season. The Big 12 Conference has a plethora of top-tier quarterbacks, as well as rising stars who hope to make their mark in 2022.
Cross-conference games don’t help either in Buffalo’s scenario. Only the Lions matchup could be placed in the win column with a high degree of confidence, though it will be heavily favoured in the most of the other games as well.
The general picture of the timetable contains a few layers.
However, the Bills should be able to overcome even a moderately challenging schedule and secure a high seed in the AFC playoff picture if they want to establish themselves as a serious contender for the Super Bowl in the future.
The East division is considered the weakest in the conference, and taking care of business against the Dolphins, Patriots, and Jets would go a long way toward securing a No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, which would be a huge boost.
However, the Buffalo Bills can’t expect to sail through the regular season without a fight. If the squad doesn’t perform at its peak during the competition, it will have a difficult time advancing.
Assuaging the Bills’ anxiety by getting out to a fast start would put them on the right track to contending.
AFC East is where it all begins for the Bills. Going at least 5-1 against their divisional rivals is likely to be required for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
Even if it’s a doable objective, it’ll be contingent on the progress made by their opponents’ promising quarterback prospects, namely, Tua Tagovailoa of Miami, Mac Jones of New England and Zach Wilson from the New York Jets. In the divisional race, things may be more difficult than they appear to be at first glance.
In addition, until the Bills can consistently beat the AFC’s recent gold standard, head-to-head contests versus the Chiefs will always carry greater weight.
A lot of pressure falls on Buffalo’s defence because of Miller’s acquisition. They’ve met each other twice this season and the last two years. Kansas City’s offence has averaged more than 100 yards per game in each matchup.
- 2020 regular season: 466
- 2020 playoffs: 439
- 2021 regular season: 392
- 2021 playoffs: 552
With Mahomes at the command, the Kansas City offence is a formidable threat to any opponent. Even still, these performances are woefully inadequate for a squad led by Sean McDermott, a defensive-minded coach.
There will be a lot of attention on the Buffalo side when these two teams meet at Arrowhead Stadium this year