Buffalo Bills remain in control of destiny in AFC playoff picture

Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates his touchdown with teammate Spencer Brown #79. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates his touchdown with teammate Spencer Brown #79. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

Overcoming a couple of tough losses the Buffalo Bills made sure to get back on track ahead of their rematch against the New England Patriots.

If you look at the AFC playoff picture, the last thing Buffalo Bills want is to get caught in the logjam as teams tries to battle for one of the three wild-card spots.

With their 31-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Highmark Stadium on Sunday, the Bills did their best to stay in contention with the New England Patriots for first in the AFC East. Oh, and guess who they play next week in Foxborough…

The theatre the NFL provides at this time of the year is quite something when you consider that the Bills are among five teams with an 8-6 record. According to The New York Times playoff machine, Buffalo has a 72 percent chance to qualify for the playoffs after their win over the Panthers.

At this rate, the margin for error is quite slim for the Bills with three games left in the regular season against the Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets. Two of those teams are in a battle to make the playoffs while the Jets… well there’s not much that needs to be said there.

This was an important game for the Bills defense to get back on track with Carolina having to change their gameplan with kicker Zane Gonzalez getting hurt during warmup. As a result, the Panthers were in a position where they would be going for it on fourth down in situations where they might kick the ball.

Fortunately for Buffalo, as they have shown at many points during the season, they were up to the task especially Efe Obaba who had a career-high two sacks. The defense also has 27 takeaways which are the most they have had through 14 games since 2014 when they had 30, according to BuffaloBills.com.

Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen continue to dominate in redzone

While he might not be having the same production as he did last season, Stefon Diggs continues to show why he’s Josh Allen’s most-trusted weapon.

For the second-straight season, Diggs recorded 1,000 receiving yards which has only been done once in franchise history when Stevie Johnson did it from 2010 to 2012. This duo remains a crucial part of the team’s success especially for Allen who became the first Bills quarterback to throw 30 touchdowns in consecutive seasons.

Hopefully, the Bills offense learned their lesson in their last game against New England considering Bill Belichick likes to take aways his opponent’s best weapon. If the Bills struggle to get things going in the passing game, they need to build off a strong performance from Devin Singletary who ran for 86 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries.

Maybe it helps that Allen was dealing with a foot/knee injury which led to the team needing to manage his workload a bit but looking at what the Indianapolis Colts were able to do against the Patriots, the Bills should be taking notes.

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