The Bills stand 6-2 at the halfway point of their season. They lead the AFC East and are undefeated in the division at 4-0. You would expect Buffalo to be recognized as a breakout team poised to make a deep playoff push. However, after jumping out to a 4-0 record, Buffalo has limped along in their last four contests. They had two consecutive, sound losses against the Titans and Chiefs where they were outscored 68-33. The two wins were against the winless Jets and the unrecognizable New England Patriots. Buffalo squeezed by in both matchups, even failing to score a single touchdown against the Jets. The question remains, are the Bills a legitimate contender to watch or are they a team who can win, just not against top teams? We shall have a good idea tomorrow when they take on white hot Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
This will be a huge prove it game for the Bills third year quarterback. Through the first four games Allen amassed 15 total touchdowns against only one interception and averaged 331 passing yards while completing 71 percent of his passes. The last four games have been a fall from grace. He had just 5 total touchdowns with 4 interceptions and averaged only 211 yards passing with a 62 percent completion rate. Allen says all the right things about being the leader of the offense and needing to play well consistently. The young gun has a great opportunity for a big game as Seattle’s pass defense sits dead last in the NFL allowing a whopping 359 yards passing per game. The only other team giving up more than 300 yards is Atlanta with 311.
Buffalo’s running attack this season has been lacking to put it gently. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has made it clear that these Bills are a pass first team. He’s been relying heavily on Josh Allen’s arm and decision making. The Bills have only 26 rushing attempts per game equaling just 108 yards per game. This effort has them ranked 21st and 20th in the league respectively. Last week’s victory against the Patriots showed much improvement. On a windy and rainy day, Moss and Singletary split 28 carries, combining for 167 yards with Moss recording the first two touchdowns of his career. The weather called for a heavy running game plan and they had a staggering 6.7 yards per carry average.
This year’s defense has not played particularly well as a whole but have come up with big stops and turnovers in crucial times. The best example came last week as Justin Zimmer dove and punched the ball from a running Cam Newton at the Bills 12-yard line. Until that play it certainly seemed as though the Patriots were destined to score a last second touchdown, handing out a devastating loss. The defense will have to play their best game of the season to give the team a chance against Seattle. The Seahawks lead the NFL averaging over 34 points per game while their 414 yards per game ranks third.
WHAT TO EXPECT
If the Bills want to be taken seriously, this game can provide just that. Josh Allen will have to shake off his recent inconsistencies and hit his receivers downfield and with accuracy. The offense will also have to build on the impressive running outing they had just a week ago. Finally, the defense will have to stand up to this season’s offensive powerhouse led by frontrunning MVP candidate Russell Wilson. It’s a tall order and the odds are against them. Literally, as Vegas has the Seahawks coming into Sunday at minus three points. A win makes the NFL think twice about what kind of team the Bills have this year. More importantly, a win inflates the players’ confidence proving they can beat the best in the league.