Three inquiries: The Bills most likely still need to prevail.

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Following Sunday’s thrilling victory over the Dallas Cowboys, we have three questions:

How did the Bills’ prospects of making the playoffs improve after this win?

Ryan O’Halloran: Note to the AFC: Prevent the Bills from making it to the postseason, or else
Ryan O’Halloran: Note to the AFC: Prevent the Bills from making it to the postseason, or else
The Bills’ 31-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday sent a strong message. If they make it to the playoffs, they’ll be very difficult to beat.

Although the Bills still likely need to win their final three games in order to qualify for the playoffs, it did help a little.

The Bills had a 51% chance to qualify for the playoffs at the beginning of the day. The New York Times playoff algorithm increased the odds to 70%, which are the seventh-best odds in the AFC, after defeating Dallas.

The Bills have an 81% chance of winning the AFC East if they win all three games: at home against the New England Patriots, on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers, and in the regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins.

If the Bills defeat Miami but win the next two? They have a 51% chance of making the playoffs. Naturally, the likelihood of that scenario—a loss in Miami—varies based on the outcomes of other games involving the AFC contenders.

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What became of Dallas’ explosive offense?
Give huge respect to Sean McDermott, the head coach of the Bills, and his defensive assistants. The prior six games, Dallas had averaged 37.3 points per game. Dak Prescott, the quarterback for the Cowboys, was being discussed by supporters as a potential candidate for NFL MVP. Prescott excels at assessing the defensive coverage before the snap. After the snap, the Bills altered their appearance to prevent Prescott from making simple, fast throws to his initial reads.

The Bills offense’s 35:05 of ball control was quite helpful. The entire game, Dallas only had eight possessions. That has a significant impact. Had the Buffalo Bills offense been executing three and outs, Prescott could have established a rhythm.

Two more factors: it’s difficult to perform well every week in the NFL, and Dallas is a stronger team at home than away. Dallas deserved a quiet week.

Is the offense of the Bills now better than it was last year?

Images: Bills thrash the Cowboys 31–10.
Images: Bills thrash the Cowboys 31–10.
Joshua Bessex, Harry Scull Jr., and Derek Gee
Despite the fact that the Bills finished second in the league in both yards and points last season, there is a significant difference.

Clearly, James Cook is a major improvement over Devin Singletary, the leading back from the previous season. Looking back, the Bills ought to have used Cook more often during Ken Dorsey’s coordinatorship early in the season. Overall, the offensive line is noticeably superior. Additionally, tight end Dalton Kincaid improves upon last year’s possession passing game.

It would be unfortunate if the surprising defeats early in the season prevent this offensive from having an opportunity to prove its mettle in the postseason.

NFL Game Recap: Cowboys vs. Bills, December 17, 2023


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