The Buffalo Bills enter Week 15 riding a four-game winning streak that saw them reclaim not only the top spot in the AFC East but also the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The latest of those four wins was a divisional showdown at home with the Jets, a 20-12 win for Buffalo. The Bills look to keep the good vibes going with another AFC East showdown, this time on Saturday night back in Orchard Park versus the Miami Dolphins. With that, here are five storylines to keep an eye on when things kick off Saturday in Western New York.
View From the Top
The Bills have earned their way back to the top of not just the AFC East, but the entire conference. At 10-3 overall, Buffalo currently sits above the Kansas City Chiefs in the #1 overall seed thanks to a head-to-head win over KC earlier in the year. The Bills have also put together a two-game lead on Miami for the top spot in the AFC East. Buffalo currently has the most points per game at home this season, making that bye and home-field advantage that much more important. The term “control your destiny” is counterintuitive, but Buffalo is the only team in the AFC that can say “if we win all our games…” that’s a pretty good place to be in mid-December.
We’re Going Streaking
One month ago, the Bills were struggling with losses in two of their last three games, and many were starting to doubt their ability to finish near the top of the AFC. Fast forward four games – all wins – and things are very different. As we enter Week 15, Buffalo has ripped off a four-game winning streak which is the second longest in the AFC behind five straight won by the Bengals. The Bills, specifically Josh Allen, are taking care of the ball. On the defensive side of the ball, Buffalo is starting to get healthy, and we are seeing the importance of Jordan Poyer, Matt Milano, and Tremaine Edmunds. The other fun nugget during this streak is that Buffalo has won three of the four games by just one score. You know, that thing they reportedly couldn’t do earlier in the season.
Welcome Back Beasley
The Bills looked to an old friend to try and solve the issue in the slot by bringing back Cole Beasley. Brandon Beane said it was Beasley who reached out to Buffalo just after Thanksgiving to see if the two sides could find some common ground for a deal, and the rest is history. With Beasley back in the fold, Josh Allen has a target he trusts to not just be in the right place at the right time but also to make the catch. The 33-year-old played limited time earlier this year with Tampa Bay where he caught four of five targets. He suited up in 16 games for the Bills in 2021 hauling in 82 catches for 693 yards and a touchdown. I wouldn’t expect that kind of immediate impact, but Beasley certainly gives Buffalo another weapon to try out of the slot.
It’s Gonna Be Chilly
A lot was made about the Bills being set ablaze when they visited Miami back in Week 3. Well, the tables will be turned on Saturday when the temps in Orchard Park are expected to be in the high 20s at best. Entering Week 15, the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa is 0-3 in games where the temp is 45 degrees or colder. The Miami offense has scored 10, 16, and 18 points in those games. We learned after Week 3 that weather IS NOT allowed to be an excuse, so be ready to throw a warm blanket on any fans that point to the frigid climate for why the outcome went one way or another.
Kaiir Elam was limited to just one snap on special teams in Sunday’s Bills’ win over the Jets. Why he was active to play just that one snap is above my pay grade, but against Miami’s pass-catching duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, it would be nice to see the first-round pick get consistent time at corner. Getting that duo off of their routes is going to be a key to the Bills’ success, but we will get to that later in the week. Tre White, Taron Johnson, and Dane Jackson each played all of the 74 snaps in the Jets game, it would be nice to see some rotation outside of Tre when Saturday night gets here.