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Most Bills fans remember the 2020 season. Buffalo got off to a great start going 4-0 before losing two straight to Tennessee and Kansas City. As the Bills approached their bye week, they faced a pesky Arizona team and eventually lost on the infamous Hail Murray play. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray heaved up a last-play prayer that WR DeAndre Hopkins brought down.
What happened next is something the entire Bills nation would love to see again. For those that don’t recall, Buffalo came off of its bye week and ran the table. Six opponents. Six straight victories. Even more impressive was the fact that each one of those six wins came by double-digits.
After a Monday night loss to none other than Tennessee again, the Bills are hoping for a repeat of 2020 in 2021. The remaining schedule will help Buffalo get there. It will be a bit more complicated as Buffalo must win 11 games this season compared to the six a year ago. However, only two of the Bills’ remaining opponents have a record above .500. That could change, too, as 3-2 New Orleans plays Seattle on Monday night.
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Buffalo’s next three opponents have a combined three victories this season. It all starts with a visit from the Miami Dolphins in Week 8. That would be the same Dolphins team the Bills beat 35-0 in Week 2. Then, it’s off to Jacksonville, which got its first win of the season eight days ago over…wait for it…Miami. The three-game stretch concludes with a trip to the New York Jets, who are 1-5 and will be without starting QB Zack Wilson. He suffered a knee injury in a bad loss to the Patriots last week.
The only real contender on Buffalo’s remaining schedule is Tampa Bay (6-1). That game is on the road, but there isn’t a game on the Bills schedule where they won’t be a big favorite other than a trip to New Orleans.
There are currently four teams ahead of Buffalo in terms of their record. Cincinnati, Baltimore, Las Vegas, and Tennessee are all 5-2, but all four teams have much more difficult schedules ahead. The Bengals, who beat Baltimore last week, will play the Ravens again, the Raiders, Chargers, Browns, and Kansas City.
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The Ravens have the Bengals again as well as division rivals Pittsburgh and Cleveland twice each. They also have to play the Packers and Rams. The Raiders still have Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, the Chiefs, Browns, and Chargers left on the schedule. Of the four, Tennessee has the easiest of the remaining schedules but does play the Rams and Saints.
What all this means is simple. If Buffalo takes care of the games they are supposed to; they are going to be right in the thick of the race for the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Should déjà vu happen all over again – just as Yogi Berra says – the Bills will undoubtedly gain the AFC’s No. 1 seed come playoff time.
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