At the mid-season mark, the Buffalo Bills find themselves tied for the lead in the AFC East, actually in the lead based on a victory over the New England Patriots earlier this season. No one could have predicted this at the start of the season, but are the Buffalo Bills a 10-win teams in the AFC this season?
Buffalo now has scored more points offensively than any other team in the AFC, 211 after seven games, 30 points per game. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has posted some seriously strong numbers this season and was rewarded last week with a new 6-year $59 million dollar contract. Fitzpatrick has thrown 14 scores and only seven interceptions, posting a passer rating of 97.8 after seven games. RB Fred Jackson is dominating out of the backfield for the Bills this season carrying the ball at a 5.5 yard per carry average and posting over 1,000 total yards this season.
Buffalo has been able to put up points on offense this season, but their defense is still suspect. Their pass defense had been a strength last season, but teams are able to throw on the Bills this season, ranking 24th against the pass. Buffalo is still allowing over 100 yards per game on the ground, but they have improved over their 32nd ranked run defense of the 2010 season.
But the question at hand is, can the Buffalo Bills win 10 games this season? I believe they can. The Bills have two games each remaining with the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins. I can see the Bills going 3-1 in that four-game set. Starting in Week 10, the Bills embark on a three-game road trip starting against the Dallas Cowboys. The Philadelphia Eagles gashed the Cowboys for over 250 yards on the ground in last night’s game.
There is a Week 13 game at home hosting the Tennessee Titans which could be played in bad weather. The same could be said in Week 16 hosting the Denver Broncos.
In the final week of the regular season, the Bills travel to New England to take on the Patriots. New England could have the division wrapped up and plan on resting starters, Buffalo could take advantage of that situation as they could have a possible wildcard berth on the line heading into that final week.
Are the Bills a 10-win team? Yes. I see six of the nine remaining games on the schedule as winnable and 10 wins are within reach. Are the Bills a playoff caliber team? I don’t think so as I believe it’s going to require 11 wins in order to grab an AFC wildcard berth.