Eliminated from playoff contention this season, the Buffalo Bills still have two chances to play spoiler for the next two weeks against division opponents. Last week, the Bills crushed any playoff hopes that the Detroit Lions had. For the next two final weeks of the regular season, the Bills will be facing the New England Patriots (9-5) and the Miami Dolphins (7-7).
Both are in playoff contention. The Patriots are an almost guaranteed to make it, but maybe having to go on the road in the playoffs and the Dolphins are fighting for a wild card spot, or the very unlikely division championship.
The Patriots currently sit at the #3 playoff seed and have had one of it is worst seasons’ as a team under the Tom Brady era. The Patriots have not been kind to the Bills at all since Brady’s arrival, going 28-3 against the Bills and complete embarrassment. As a matter of fact, if the Patriots win this Sunday, they will clinch the AFC East once again. If the Bills want to make the playoffs a tougher time for the Patriots, a win is necessary.
The last time these two squared off, the Patriots only led the Bills 12-6 going into the fourth quarter. The Pats defense made big plays in the final quarter including a pick-six to put the game in the bag. What what will be different about this game? It will not be Derek Anderson at quarterback. Rookie Josh Allen, who was dealing with an elbow injury during the first meeting gets the start in his first game against Brady. The offense has been able to get things going in recent weeks and the defense needs to keep playing the second half of football that they have been. The defense has to continue playing physical and not allow any easy plays be earned.
The Bills are a true underdog heading into week 16. If there is one thing that can push Allen towards the edge of major development, it is to walk into Gillette and outplay the Patriots defense and Brady.
If the Dolphins manage to pick up a victory this Sunday against the Jaguars, they could still be in position to make the playoffs. Entering at 7-7, the pressure is at full force for the organization. If the Bills enter the final week of the regular season with a chance to take the Dolphins out of the playoffs, that will be a New Year gift for Bills fans.
These two faced off over two weeks ago and the Bills were a couple inches short of pulling the upset comeback on the final play. An incomplete pass from Allen to Charles Clay resulted in the Dolphins sealing the win. This second meeting takes place in snowy, cold-weathered Wester New York. This gives the Bills an advantage against the Dolphins. The Dolphins have not beaten the Bills on the road since 2016.
If the opportunity is presented, a chance to eliminate Miami from playoff contention, the Bills have to pull every trick out of the book and mentally stress out the Dolphins.
The Bills have a unique opportunity to play spoiler for the next two weeks. If you cannot make the playoffs, why not make the road to the playoffs a harder path for another team, or even take away an opportunity for a team to see the postseason? The Bills travel to Foxboro for a matchup against the Patriots this Sunday.