Written by: Alex James
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/AP
The Buffalo Bills provided fans with a late Christmas present on Sunday afternoon defeating the New England Patriots 33-21 in Foxborough. With the win, the Bills improve to 9-6 on the season and currently sit atop the AFC East division with the tiebreaker in-hand against the 9-6 Patriots (who have 2 division losses in comparison to the Bills one loss). The Bills now have complete control of their fate going forward, and by winning their final 2 games will secure at least one home playoff game as well as maintaining the AFC East Division Title.
The Bills will host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon with this being the first meeting between teams since 2017. The Falcons (7-8) are coming off a 20-16 victory against the Detroit Lions and are still on the fringes of the NFC wildcard picture. The Falcons defence come in to this game ranked in the bottom 10 for total yards allowed, points allowed, rushing yards allowed & passing yards allowed.
This is the perfect situation for the Bills offence to explode and build their confidence heading into the playoffs. Allen is coming off a monstrous game against the Patriots where he threw for over 310+ yards and ran for 67 yards and he can definitely continue building off these performances heading into the playoffs.
Video Courtesy of NFL on CBS via TB 12-fan on Youtube
As a team the Bills rushed for 114 yards against the Patriots, and it seems that the offence is clicking in all areas. However with almost 60% of those yards coming from Allen running (designed or broken plays), the Bills still need to institute more play-calling to get running back’s involved. We have shown some success running the ball against lesser opponents while dominating through the air, however when it comes to playoff football relying too heavily on the air aspect of this offence may be fatal to our success.
Good defences have played well against us and the games seem to open up against these teams when they utilize all their offensive weapons.
The Bills covid/injury report as of Thursday is the following: Beasley, Feliciano, Davis & Epenesa are all cleared and off the covid-reserve list. Ike Boettger was placed on the IR while Cam Lewis is out and placed on the covid-reserve list. Sanders, Poyer, Jones & Addison are all questionable for Sunday.
Courtesy of NFL.com
The weather for Sunday afternoon in Orchard Park will be low 30s, with a 60% chance of snow. This weather should hypothetically suit Buffalo playing against a southern team who plays their home games in a dome. This will be Atlanta’s first snowy game of the season, but you can never count out Matt Ryan with all his experience and offensive weapons. The Bills need to dominate this game for a number of reasons; one, it’ll provide confidence heading into the final game of the season against the Jets.
Second, it’s one step closer to finishing the season as AFC East Division Champions and proving last year wasn't a fluke. Lastly, a complete team performance will truly set the benchmark for what's capable should we be in the playoffs. The Bills have gotten the jittery losses out of them earlier in the season and peaking at this stage should not be undervalued.
Circle The Wagons,
References: https://www.espn.com/nfl/recap/_/gameId/401326561, https://www.footballdb.com/teams/nfl/buffalo-bills/teamvsteam?opp=2, https://www.nfl.com/standings/playoff-picture, https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/32957454/cole-beasley-jon-feliciano-four-buffalo-bills-players-reserve-covid-19-list, https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/injuries/_/name/buf, https://www.stadiumforecast.com/football/nfl/bills/weather.php/forecast.html,