The Buffalo Bills are the AFC’s No. 3 seed as they look to win the first Super Bowl in franchise history. They open the playoffs Saturday night at home against AFC East rival New England. Here’s a breakdown of the Bills.
Buffalo won its fourth straight game Sunday and clinched the AFC East with a 27-10 win over the Jets. Buffalo faced just 46 offensive plays by New York. That’s the second-fewest amount of plays the Bills’ defense faced in a single game during the 2021 regular season, trailing only the 42 ran by the Houston Texans in Week 4. A big reason the Bills faced so few plays is because the defense held the Jets to just 1 of 14 on third downs, forcing 11 punts, one of which was blocked.
The Bills had nine sacks for a total of 82 yards lost, and they held the Jets to a franchise-record low for net passing yards in a game (5). They also allowed only four fourth downs which were the fewest in franchise history. The nine sacks against the Jets were Buffalo’s most in a game under Sean McDermott, and their most in a game since 2011 (10 against WFT Oct. 30, 2011). They now have 19 sacks in their last four games.
The team is 11-1 in the AFC East over the past two seasons. Buffalo has won the division in consecutive seasons for the third time in franchise history and the first time since 1988-1991. Since the Bills clinched the division in 2020, on the road in Denver, Sunday marked the first time the Bills won the AFC East at home since December 17, 1995.
“Listen, to play here, it wasn’t even packed out there but if you could feel the crowd,” Coach Sean McDermott said. “Playing at home, playing in Western New York, especially late in the year, it’s been a long time since these fans, because of the situation last year, since the fans have been able to watch a home playoff game and in full capacity. So, listen we love playing in front of our fans, and it’s a special place to play. To me, it’s the best place in the NFL, and we look forward to next weekend.”
Stefon Diggs’ total of nine receptions on Sunday also made him the most prolific receiver in league history in his first two seasons with a new club. Diggs surpassed Wes Welker’s previous record of 223 receptions in his first two years with New England (2007-2008) with a total of 230. Diggs became the first Bills player with 10 receiving touchdowns since Stevie Johnson in 2010. Diggs also set a new personal single-season high for touchdowns in a season
Quarterback Josh Allen became the first player in NFL history to surpass 4,000 passing yards (4,407) and 750 rushing yards (763) in a single season. He joined Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers as the only quarterbacks with consecutive seasons with 4,000+ passing yards and 35+ touchdown passes Allen is now the second quarterback in NFL history with 14,000+ passing yards and 2,000+ rushing yards in first four seasons joining Cam Newton
It will be the first playoff meeting of the Super Bowl era between the Bills and Patriots. The two teams did meet during the 1963 AFL divisional round, Buffalo’s first playoff game in franchise history. The matchup pits two of the NFL’s top-performing defenses against each other. The Bills finished with the No. 1 defense in terms of yards allowed (4,637), passing yards allowed (2,771), and points allowed (289). The Patriots finished second in passing yards allowed (3,181) and points allowed (303) and fourth in total yards allowed (5,284). The two defenses tied for third in the NFL with 30 turnovers apiece.
Last year, the Bills reached the AFC title game but lost in Kansas City 38-24. The Chiefs fell behind by two scores early but quickly overcame it with 21 unanswered points in the second quarter and never looked back. In total, Kansas City outscored Buffalo, 38-15, following the first quarter of action. Defensively, the Chiefs racked up four sacks and 10 quarterback hits while pressuring Allen 27 times. More likely than not, the Bills will have to play in Kansas City again in the divisional round assuming Buffalo beats New England on Sunday, which I think it will.
- Bills are 9-4-2 ATS in their last 15 home games.
- Bills are 11-5-2 ATS in their last 18 games as a home favorite.
- Bills are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Bills are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 14 points.
- Bills are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Bills win this weekend, lose in the divisional round.