Buffalo Bills: Teams have been successful in year after losing AFC Championship Game
There is no question that losing the AFC Championship Game last year for the Buffalo Bills was disappointing. They had an excellent season and came within one game of reaching the Super Bowl, something that they haven’t done since the early 1990s.
However, in recent years the losing team of the AFC Championship Game has gone on to have great success the following season. Since the 2013 season, five of the seven losing teams in the AFC Championship Game have made the playoffs with the only teams not making it is the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Indianapolis Colts were competitive in the season after their AFC Championship Game loss in the 2014 season but finished the season 8-8 in 2015. This was the first time since the 2011 season that the Colts didn’t make the playoffs.
The Jaguars made a deep playoff run in the 2017 season that started with a win over the Buffalo Bills and ended with a loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. They have struggled to find any success since then with only 12 wins over the past three seasons.
Of the other five teams that have lost the AFC Championship Game, two teams have gone on to earn the one seed the next year (2014 New England Patriots, 2016 New England Patriots) and two teams earned the two seed (2017 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2019 Kansas City Chiefs).
Ultimately the goal for the Buffalo Bills this year is to not only get to the playoffs but win the Super Bowl. When looking at teams that have lost the AFC Championship Game, three of the seven teams (both Patriots teams and the Chiefs) would go on to win the Super Bowl the next year.
There is no guarantee that this trend will continue but when teams reach the AFC Championship Game there is a strong likelihood that they will be successful the following season. The Buffalo Bills will hopefully continue that trend in 2021.