• Alex Fleming

Bills return to the scene of the crime against 49ers

Everyone knew this was going to be a trying season. Sitting at 8-3, the Buffalo Bills go back to State Farm stadium, aka the Toaster, to take on their last NFC West opponent; the San Francisco 49ers. This game was supposed to be played in Santa Clara, but due to covid restrictions, San Francisco has been deemed homeless. Now sharing the home with the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers look to be a dark horse in the NFC playoff race. The Buffalo Bills however, look to keep pace in the AFC playoff picture.

Barely holding on to the #3 seed, the Buffalo Bills are a step away from winning their division for the first time since 1995. With only two more matchups left in the division for Buffalo, New England and Miami are on the horizon. But today, the former Super Bowl contending champions are on the schedule. A team that has been decimated by injuries, now the San Francisco 49ers are getting healthy at the right time. The return of Raheem Mostert and Richard Sherman has helped bolstered a return for the San Francisco treat.

Josh Allen is not getting the respect that he is due. Currently with 3,000 yards passing, and throwing for more than 20 touchdowns (22) and rushing for 6 more, Josh Allen isn't even considered an MVP candidate. Stefon Diggs, is second in the AFC in receiving yards (945) behind Tyreek Hill (1,079) at the wide receiver position. With 80 receptions, Diggs has blossomed into a #1 wide receiver in the league. Sporting the third best defense in the league arguably, Jordan Poyer leads the team in tackles, while A.J. Klein leads the team in sacks. Tremaine "Savage" Edmunds is second on the team with 84 total tackles. When it comes to predictions for the Super Bowl however, no one mentions the Buffalo Bills.

Josh Allen is only completing his passes at a 68.8% rate, and has thrown for more than 300 yards five times this year. Since starting in the NFL, Allen has racked up 31 passing touchdowns, 22 rushing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown without one interception in the red zone. Devin "Motor" singletary, is still the lead back in this Buffalo offense. But Zach Moss is ready to spell him whenever he slips or fumbles. 483 yd isn't I opening numbers, but an average of 4.4 carry shows that the engine is steady. Cole Beasley is the king of the slot, averaging nearly 12 yards of catch. Cole Beasley leads all slot receivers in receptions (57) but you wouldn't know this, because Buffalo doesn't get the headlines like other Superior teams.

Defeating the NFC West is no easy feat. Every team is at .500 or has a winning record, except for the 49ers (.455). Currently, the Los Angeles Rams are leading the division at 8-4, a team in which the Bills beat in week 3 of this season. Seattle sits at 8-4, but they suffered a loss to the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park in week 8 of this season as well. With the 49ers the last one left on the schedule as far as the NFC West is concerned, the Buffalo Bills look to erase some demons from the last time that they were in the toaster of Arizona. Losing on a Hail Mary by Kyler Murray connection to DeAndre Hopkins was a heartbreaker for the Buffalo Bills. Not only did that knock them out of any chance of getting a first round bye, it made people question whether this team is a legitimate threat for a Super Bowl run.

Although the loss didn't hurt the Buffalo Bills divisionally, it hurts them in regards to be considered the upper echelon of the AFC . A victory against the San Francisco 49ers will also keep them at PACE with the 9-3 Cleveland Browns, who has earned their first winning season since 2007. Look for Buffalo to circle the wagons at the end of week 13, and making a statement at the end of week 14 against The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.

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