As situations evolve, it is necessary for people to adjust their expectations. After watching the Bills dismantle the 49ers, Steelers, Broncos, and Patriots in four straight weeks on national television, it is now necessary for us to adjust our expectations for the Bills. When the season started my expectation for this team was to win the division and win a playoff game. But over the course of these last 15 weeks, my expectations have changed. I try to be as level-headed as possible, but sometimes my expectations of this team even change in-game. In fact, I started writing this article in the 4th quarter of the Bills 38-9 embarrassment of New England. Let me be clear: the Buffalo Bills have a very legitimate shot to deliver a Super Bowl to their championship-starved city. Some might argue that this 2020 campaign might be their best shot to win a Super Bowl in franchise history. At the least, it is their second best shot – behind the 1990 season and their run to Super Bowl 25.
Everything is starting to fall into place for the Bills at just the right time. Their defense has been consistently improving and have proven they can shut down offenses on a moment’s notice. The Bills are putting games away in the first half, and with each week they seem to be beating their opponent more convincingly. And frankly, even though I write things are “falling into place”, that isn’t giving enough credit to the Bills. Things fell into place for the team in 2017 when it took a miracle to end the drought. This year the Bills have created this situation for themselves and set up a team that is ready for a deep playoff run. It can be hard to describe the feeling surrounding the Bills right now. The Bills have the “it” factor. You have to have your finger on the pulse of the fanbase to feel it, but this is something that has been building. The team and fanbase can feel “it” – whatever it is. The “it” factor for the Bills is one of confidence, dominance, and fearlessness. And everything is coming to a head when it matters most.
For a long time this has seemed unattainable. As a fan who grew up with this team during the 17-year playoff drought, I never thought that the Bills would have a team of this caliber. The Bills are a legit football team, one of the best football teams in the NFL and have as good a chance as any other team to win the Super Bowl this year. This is the expectation now. Anything short of a trip to the AFC Championship game will be a major disappointment for the franchise and the fanbase. With each passing week and every manipulation of any defense that stands in their path, the Bills are showing us that we shouldn’t let them off the hook. The Bills season needs to end in Tampa Bay in the first week in February. Anything short of that will be a disappointment. Considering the futility of the majority of the past 20 years, even typing that sentence feels like the fanbase has already won something big. But the team has something much bigger that they are trying to win, and there should be no doubt that they can do it over the next month.