The Buffalo Bills enter Week 16 riding a five-game winning streak, including winning four of those by one score, and stayed at the top of the AFC with another win over an AFC East team 32-29 against Miami in Orchard Park. The Bills are now three games up in the division with just three games left to play and have locked up a playoff spot for a fourth consecutive season. Buffalo now prepares for an out-of-conference game as they visit Chicago on Saturday. With that, here are five storylines to keep an eye on when things kick off Saturday (hopefully) in the Windy City.
Let it Snow
A lot has been made about the Bills having to move their game against Cleveland from Buffalo to Detroit, but it may be the Bears having to make some drastic changes due to weather this time around. At the time of writing this, Chicago is expected to be hit with a blizzard sometime Friday into Saturday which could cause travel to Illinois to be darn near impossible. When it comes to game action, the temps might be the worst part as the number ZERO is being used as a low. Weather catastrophes aren’t a place I like to point fingers, but if this game is impacted in anyway fans in the south will start to chant “dome, dome, dome” and you can nicely remind them that hurricanes have moved four times more games than snow.
Allen Owns the NFC
I wrote about this in my fun Bills’ stats story, but it is a major storyline as well. Josh Allen enters Saturday with a 15-5 record against NFC foes. He isn’t just winning those games, but he’s slicing up the competition. In 20 games the Wyoming product has thrown for 5,103 yards with 41 touchdowns and added another 799 yards on the ground with 14 more trips to scores. According to the Bills’ PR team, Allen has racked up three AFC Offensive Player of the Week awards in those 20 games (Seattle 2020, San Francisco 2020, Washington 2021). If the weather doesn’t completely ruin this game, expect some more amazing Allen moments.
Baby Josh Allen
Any young QB that struggles early is instantly linked to Josh Allen by their fan base as they hope said player can make the amazing growths that Allen made for the Bills. Most of them are just pipe dreams, but if it makes sense for one young signal caller it is the Bears’ Justin Fields. First, Fields has the physical stature to be compared to Allen as he stands 6’3″ and 230 pounds. Second, he has the arm to make all the throws that Allen can make. Third, he has the legs that make him special in difficult circumstances just like Allen. Can he become the next Josh Allen and make those huge leaps? I have no idea! What I do know is that it will be fun to watch him play Saturday and for years to come.
We’re Going Streaking
The Bills look for their sixth straight win when they visit Chicago on Saturday. Buffalo has ripped off five in a row, moving them back to not just the top of the AFC East, but the AFC as a whole. They’ve won three of those games away from Orchard Park and one of those wins is against another NFC North team in the Detroit Lions. The Bills have needed everyone of these wins as they currently sit tied with Kansas City for the all-important number one seed in the AFC (Buffalo has the tiebreaker).
I mentioned the Bills’ five-game winning streak above, which is second-best in the AFC only behind the six games the Cincinnati Bengals have put together. The Bengals happen to be Buffalo’s next opponent after Chicago. If the Bills and Bengals both get through this weekend unscathed, it’ll make a showdown in Cincinnati next Sunday huge as Buffalo would be one-game up on the Bengals 12-3 vs. 11-4. The Bills are currently 8.5-point favorites over Chicago, according to BetUS.com, but they can’t look ahead of any opponent. It feels like each week there is a game where we ask: “how did (team X) find itself in a battle with (team Y).” The Bills need to avoid that and take care of business.