The NFL Playoff picture is coming into focus as we approach the final week of the regular season. But first, the Buffalo Bills travel to take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.
In what could be the prime time game of the season, two top quarterbacks square off in an important game which could tip the scales in the AFC playoff seeding.
If the Bills beat the Bengals, they continue controlling their own destiny as the number one seed and would go on to need a victory in Week 18 in order to secure home field advantage. That Week 18 matchup? It’s against none other than arguably the greatest coach in league history, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
In Week 17, the Patriots just barely snuck by the Miami Dolphins to win 23-21, thus living to see another day in a crowded playoff race. If the Patriots were to win next week against Buffalo, they are in the playoffs. It’s really that simple for New England.
But for Buffalo, beating Belichick would be oh, so sweet.
Beating the Bengals on Monday Night Football would mean the Bills can put a nail in Bill Belichick’s 2022 coffin.
Somehow, some way, the Patriots are still in it behind Belichick and company. But, Buffalo could knock them straight out of the playoff race to end their season next week, and at the same time secure the top seed in the AFC.
After years of back-and-forth rivalry between the Bills and Patriots, all while Belichick has remained in New England, ending the Patriots’ campaign would be the sweetest possible ending to the regular season.
Let’s get real for a minute. There might not be another coach in the NFL, or even team in this league, that the Bills Mafia despises more than the Patriots. Sure, Bills fans have had to endure countless seasons seeing Tom Brady, Belichick and the Pats in the thick of Super Bowl contention while Buffalo sits on their couches at home.
Belichick is 36-9 against the Bills in his career, too, which makes this relationship all the more strenuous between the two sides. These teams don’t like each other — and rightfully so. But, right now, it’s the Bills’ time. New England has struggled to stay relevant without Brady the past couple of years, and the Bills have been on the upward trend behind Josh Allen, Sean McDermott and company.
Winning at Cincinnati would be the biggest victory of the season, but come Week 18, the Bills could follow it up by sending Belichick home early for the offseason. Talk about heading into the playoffs feeling real, real good.