It is going to be a football gantlet for any team to reach the AFC Championship next NFL season. Most of the league’s top quarterback talents are all in this conference and have all won at least one playoff game.
Although the path is not easy, the Buffalo Bills are in the best position to win Super Bowl LVII.
If not for the historical heroics of Patrick Mahomes, Buffalo might have accomplished that goal last season.
Bills GM Brandon Beane’s immediate reaction to the Cleveland Browns trading for Deshaun Watson was to poke fun at the NFC. Before he jokingly considers voting for realignment, his Bills should take a deep breath and understand they have a distinct advantage over other AFC teams.
Bills GM Brandon Beane on the talent in the AFC: "I'm voting for realignment."
— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) March 18, 2022
Bills Use Free Agency For Finishing Touches
Starting with their approach this offseason. Most championships are won through team building and shrewd executive leadership, but when used correctly, free agents can be the finishing touches for a team on the brink of a title run.
The line of scrimmage is everything in football and Buffalo has made it a point of emphasis during free agency. The headline of their offseason signings is future Hall of Famer Von Miller.
"It had to be this, it had to be the Buffalo Bills." pic.twitter.com/2RsMyb4HEB
— Brian Chojnacki (@BroadcastingBri) March 17, 2022
Buffalo is adding Miller to a defense that allowed the lowest amount of points in the NFL last season. Besides being a playmaker on the field, Miller can provide the championship mindset to get the Bills over the hump just as he did for the Los Angeles Rams in 2021.
AFC East Wide Open Since Brady Bounced
The main advantage Buffalo has over the other AFC contenders is that they play in the AFC East.
For the past 20 years the New England Patriots controlled the AFC because their division opponents did not have the roster to compete with them, which allowed for them to earn first-round byes constantly. The Bills have the same opportunity in front of them.
The flurry of recent moves in the AFC West and AFC North puts those teams in a difficult position just to make the playoffs. There are six division matchups a year, so while teams in the West and North are fighting just to stay above .500, the Buffalo Bills expect to either sweep their division or at worst go 5-1.
The AFC North and West are going to be an absolute fight all season
Meanwhile, the Bills in the AFC East like pic.twitter.com/uRQwg4jnDX
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) March 18, 2022
Winning the AFC East is just the first step for the Bills, because their ultimate goal is controlling the conference. The new playoff format only allows one team to earn a bye, which is why playing in a weak division helps Buffalo’s chances at securing the No. 1 seed.
The importance of earning the top seed is not only an extra week to rest players (after a 17-game regular season), but to force opposing playoff teams to play in a hostile environment.
Home Field Advantage
Bills Mafia is notorious on social media and always brings the energy to Orchard Park. To have a team travel to freezing Buffalo in January to compete in a loud stadium for the AFC Championship is a possible scenario.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) March 18, 2022
Josh Allen showcased his talents during the 2021 playoffs, and he’s ready to lead the Buffalo Bills to their first Super Bowl win this coming season. It won’t be easy, but the stiff competition throughout the season and the bitter taste of last season’s playoff loss should inspire a season of success.