What went wrong with the Buffalo Bills?
They owned the AFC East four weeks ago and were a lock for the playoffs with a 6-3 record.
But things changed quickly after losing three of their last four games.
The New England Patriots took over the division while they hung on to the last playoff spot after Week 14.
— Thurman Thomas (@thurmanthomas) December 13, 2021
Unfortunately, their postseason hopes are in danger because 13 AFC teams are still hunting for playoff spots.
Coming into Week 15, the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and Denver Broncos have the same record as the Bills.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders, and Miami Dolphins are not far behind.
Will the Bills hang on to enter the playoffs with a race this tight?
Remaining Games For Buffalo
All spots in the 2021 AFC playoff ticket are still up for grabs because the battle for every division is not yet over.
A monumental collapse from the teams on top could cause them to slide down the rankings.
In that case, it might take until the final week of the regular season before the Bills can determine if their hopes of a Super Bowl stint remain alive or not.
They have four games left, and they cannot underestimate their remaining opponents.
But if they rediscover the measures that brought them success early in the season, they might extend their playoff streak to three seasons.
Referees missed multiple game-changing pass interference calls in the Bills-Buccaneers game on Sunday.
So Bills fans started donating in $17 increments to a Buffalo-based non-profit that helps the visually impaired.
They've raised over $18,000 so far 🙏 pic.twitter.com/mE8TUX0xlb
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) December 15, 2021
Buffalo will battle the reeling Carolina Panthers in Week 15.
Cam Newton’s return can only do so much as the Panthers have lost four of their last five games.
Next on their list is a trip to Gillette Stadium to face the Patriots.
It would be hard to break the Patriots’ momentum, especially with a defense that shuts down opponents.
The weather during that game might be similar to the conditions they endured in Week 13.
But the Bills can’t expect the Patriots to repeat the successful run-heavy strategy.
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 12, 2021
The visit to New England is their only road game left during the regular season.
After which are home games against the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets, two teams that may find the Buffalo weather in January uncomfortable.
Likewise, Josh Allen and company have a better roster than these two teams, making a defeat more shocking.
Will The Bills Reach The Playoffs?
The Bills should make the playoffs as a Wild Card entrant based on their current schedule.
The Patriots found their groove, and it looks like they’ll retake the division.
Yet, given how crazy this NFL season continues to be, Buffalo can surprise and defeat New England on the road.
They should have no problems claiming victory over their three remaining opponents if that happens.
Almost half of the NFL is between 6-7 and 7-6
Saints 6-7 pic.twitter.com/YBUA7YcXj1
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 15, 2021
But they can’t expect to win if they’re making the same mistakes that plagued them for the past four weeks.
It’s hard to clinch a victory if they continue to let Allen carry the heavy load on offense.
Yes, he’s one of the more mobile quarterbacks in the NFL.
However, it’s not a good sight that he’s also doing the lifting in the running game.
He shouldn’t be leading the team in rushing yards in four of their last seven games.
Worst, he sacrificed his body for 109 yards on the ground in their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On defense, their struggles in stopping the run are not a secret anymore.
That said, they must make the necessary adjustments to save their playoff aspirations.