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[Playoffs 2024] Buffalo Bills: the resurrection of a giant

Buffalo Bills: 11 wins – 6 losses, AFC East champions, second in AFC

Expected as favorites in recent seasons but always defeated in the playoffs, the Buffalo Bills approached the 2023 season with a lot of pressure: that of the favorite for whom this is perhaps the last chance. Under this enormous pressure, the Bills began to prove the detractors right with a catastrophic start to the season.

But week after week, stage after stage, they finally clinched the playoffs with an enviable second place in the conference. Who is this team? Real pretender or beautiful winter story?

How did they get there?

The season began as a symbol of Buffalo's struggles Bills with a surprise defeat against the Jets, a consequence of their individual errors. Despite everything Buffalo reacted well with three victories including an authoritarian against Dolphinsbefore the collapse.

For many teams, being at 6 wins 6 losses after 12 matches is not a poor performance, but this is certainly the case for the Buffalo Bills. Especially when, among the lot, there are defeats against the Patriots where the Broncos. At this point in the season, the qualification of Bills in playoffs was far from a certainty.

Fortunately for Sean McDermott's men, they will resume in December with 5 consecutive victories pinned to the hunting table including the ChiefsTHE Cowboys and the Dolphins. Enough to end the season like a cannonball. A symbol of newfound strength, they won the last three matches without being good, buoyed by confidence and group unity which gives hope for the future.

The key player: Josh Allen (QB)

For better or worse, Josh Allen was the embodiment of his franchise. Author of 44 touchdownsincluding 15 on the ground, he saved his team more than once with his arm and his legs. Author of 18 interceptions, he cost victories because of his inability to limit errors. He is what Jameis Winston could have been with more talent.

To win the title, Josh Allen will need to be much more careful with the ball, without losing his explosiveness. He must make a Flacco 2013, to illustrate the point between two players who look alike. With the injury of important players, Josh Allen will have more pressure than ever to have to pull the Buffalo Bills to the top.

Injured players

If there's one team that isn't spared from injuries, it's the Buffalo Bills. The defense lost 2 stars, in the person of cornerback Tre'Davious White and linebacker Matt Milano. In addition to these two notable absences Rasul Douglas (CB) And Tyrel Dodson (LB) are out on injury in the last week. This group must talent but the injuries have weakened.

The attack also suffered injuries, as Gabe Davis (W.R.) and Dion Dawkins (OT) also missed the end of the match against the Dolphins. With the absence of runner Damien Harris, the attack is suffering.

Such an accumulation of injuries may cast doubt on this team's ability to go far in the absence of so many resources.

Why are they going to go through with it?

If Josh Allen is not perfect, he has everything to lead a title attack. Steve Diggs and Dalton Kincaid are excellent players and James Cook is finally providing some help on the floor for Josh Allen. The Buffalo Bills don't have the best team, but they have enough stars.

This team is united and has resilience. Going through a season in pain is often the best way to unite a group than to dominate a season from A to Z. This team thought they missed the playoffs and finally finds himself seeded number 2. They are unsinkable and this can help them overcome many challenges.

The defensive line also gives cause for optimism, both through its quality and its depth. With Ed Oliver as the leader, this line can disrupt any team in the NFL and dominating the lines is a very good way to win a football game.

Why won't they go?

As mentioned in the paragraph dedicated to injuries, Bills are not complete. The lack of resources, mainly on defense, risks making this team less unpredictable and less punitive. The system McDermott rests on the losses of bullets and the lack of playmaker can reduce this danger.

In attack, the group also lacks talent in key positions. There is no true number 2 receiver and the offensive line alternates between decent and mediocre. That's a lot of uncertainty for a single squad, especially compared to Baltimore, the big fish in this conference.

Finally, there are the ghosts of the past: lhe 13 seconds against Kansas City, the humiliation against Cincinnati… This team has disappointed in recent seasons and it will take great strength of character not to fail again in the playoffs. THE Bills in are they capable ?

Prognosis

First round against a likely TJ Watt-less Steelers shouldn't pose a threat. A victory in divisional round can also be widely considered. Despite everything, the Baltimore machine seems too strong in the conference final. On both ends of the field, the Ravens are more complete. It would take a bit of luck to win, but the chances are stronger on the Baltimore side.

Defeat in the conference final against the Baltimore Ravens.

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