The Buffalo Bills are next in the AFC East, but not now

Josh Allen, Trent Murphy, Buffalo Bills. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Josh Allen, Trent Murphy, Buffalo Bills. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills have come within a series of beating the New England Patriots twice this season. They’re close but are they the next team in the AFC East.

For the 11th year in a row, the New England Patriots have won the AFC East. Not since Tom Brady tore his ACL in Week 1 of the 2008 NFL season has somebody else won the division title, but that could soon be changing. Though they came up short by one score yet again to the Patriots this year, we have seen enough to know the Buffalo Bills are next in the AFC East, just not right now.

Buffalo is locked in as the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs with its latest loss of the season. The Bills are 10-5 on the year and don’t have anything to be gained or lost vs. the New York Jets next week. However, they will want to take some momentum into Wild Card Weekend when they play the No. 4 on the road. They may also want 11 wins on the season for the first time since the 1990s.

After not having made the playoffs since 1999, the 2017 Bills punched their ticket in on the last game of the season two years ago. Now, the Bills have emerged as an AFC playoff fixture under third-year head coach Sean McDermott. He has implemented an outstanding cultural shift in Orchard Park since leaving the Carolina Panthers. This is why the Bills got next in the AFC East.

Yes, their second-year starting quarterback Josh Allen is still raw and unrefined, but he is playing with enough confidence behind a great defense to give the Bills hope for a bright tomorrow. One day, Brady won’t be in Foxborough and that’ll leave the AFC East wide open, wide open for the Bills to take what is rightfully theirs. New York and the Miami Dolphins don’t have what it takes yet.

As for Buffalo, the Bills play the right brand of football necessary to win in this northeastern climate. It’s ground-and-pound offensively, complemented, and often supported, by a fast and physical brand of defense. This team is well-coached and every Bills player has completely bought into what McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane are building in Western New York.

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Even though the Bills couldn’t beat the Patriots, this is the best season in Bills franchise history since 1999. This team is one of the toughest outs in football and didn’t get into the playoffs just because they played in a weak AFC like the 2017 squad. The Bills are more than good, they are next. It may not be a straight climb to the top, but this team will one day reach the summit.