It’s been a long time coming. The Buffalo Bills are a legitimate part of the Super Bowl discussion. After years of futility, the franchise is back in the position that has eluded them for decades.
The AFC East
To get a realistic picture of where the Bills currently stand. All one needs to do is take an in-depth look at the current landscape. Going into the final few weeks of last season, Buffalo was in serious contention to win the AFC East. Flash forward to the present day. You can’t ever discount the devil (Bill Belichick), but with Tom Brady gone, the New England Patriots are vulnerable. The Miami Dolphins are still in a rebuilding phase. The New York Jets are in a constant state of flux. The AFC East is there for the Bills taking. Winning the division and hosting a playoff game will go along way in Buffalo, finally succeeding in the playoffs.
Bills Roster Composition
Thanks to the partnership of General Manager Brandon Beane and Head Coach Sean McDermott. The Buffalo Bills have compiled a young roster of emerging elite players on both sides of the ball, like Devin Singletary, Tremaine Edmonds, and Ed Oliver. You get the sense that the best is yet to come from an evolving young group of players. The team has also added star receiver Stefon Diggs to aid their franchise quarterback Josh Allen. Despite not having a first-round pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. Buffalo doesn’t appear to have any glaring roster needs going in. A rarity for most teams. The Bills have become legit playoff contenders (two postseason berths in the last three years) and seem ready to take the next step.
Bills Franchise History
For some, It may seem premature and perhaps unfair to anoint Buffalo as a legit Superbowl contender. After all, the Bills haven’t won a playoff game since December 30th, 1995. Tim Tindale, anyone? If you were born in this century, there’s a very tiny chance that you know who that is.
The last time, the Bills won a playoff game. Buffalo trounced the Miami Dolphins, 37-22 at home, while rushing for 341 yards on the ground. The cult-hero Tim Tindale was a seldom-used Canadian-born backup who had only rushed for a total of 16 yards during that season. Still, on that day at Rich Stadium, Tindale broke an exhilarating 44-yard game-sealing touchdown run in the 4th quarter. Since that fateful day, the Bills have not tasted postseason success again.
The ’90s were the glory years for the Buffalo Bills. The franchise made the playoffs eight times in that decade. (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999). It almost feels cruel to bring up the Bills’ most significant failure, which is also their greatest achievement, getting to, but losing four straight SuperBowls in the nineties.
When the bittersweet glory days of the nineties faded for Buffalo, the turn of the century produced a 17-year drought of futility, in what was the longest active playoff drought in all major professional sports at the time. The Bills missed the playoffs for almost two straight decades. More than that, from 2000-2016, the Buffalo Bills had only two winning seasons. Any other fan base would have abandoned their team after this dark period, but the Bills are as beloved in Buffalo, as the Packers are in Green Bay. The fans are true blue. The time has come for their loyalty to be rewarded.
The 2020 season will be Buffalo’s 61st season in existence. It’s taken the Buffalo Bills a very long time to get to the point where they are back in real contention. Are the Bills ready to make that leap from contenders to potential champions? On the surface, it would appear that the Bills are built for the long term, but the Super Bowl window closes very fast for NFL franchises. The Patriots are the exception, not the rule. When the opportunity to win one presents itself, you have to seize it. The time is now for Buffalo. The Bills are finally back in that Super Bowl window.
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