The Buffalo Bills turned over the roster and hired a new coach prior to the season and they weren’t expected to end the longest playoff drought in the NFL. But the team defied the odds and exceeded the expectations to make their first postseason trip in a year that began with the number 2. Now it looks like the team will tear down its roster again, at least at the quarterback spot.
It looked like Tyrod Taylor was on shaky ground all season and Sean McDermott pretty much said so when he yanked his starter in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman for the Week 11 matchup with the Chargers. That experiment went horribly wrong with Peterman throwing five first half interceptions and he was replaced by Taylor in the second half. Taylor returned to start the following week, but the message was loud and clear.
The Bills struggled in the passing game all season and ranked 31st during the regular season with an average of just 176.6 yards per game. It didn’t help that Taylor lost his top two pass catching threats in Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods before the season even began and nobody stepped up in that role. And things were worse in the playoff loss to Jacksonville with Taylor completing just 17 of 37 passes for 134 yards and a pick. It’s hard to win consistently with no passing game and the Bills will be in the market for a new quarterback for next season.
2017 Record: 9-8
2017 ATS Record: 10-6-1
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 8-9
Current Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Current Odds to Win AFC: N/A
Current Odds to Win AFC East: N/A
Wild Card Round: Jaguars 10, Bills 3
ATS Result: Bills +8
Over/Under Total Result: Under 39.5
It certainly didn’t resemble playoff football with the team’s combining for 13 points to finish well below the closing total. Buffalo’s defense played well enough to win, holding the Jags to 230 yards, but they failed to score a touchdown and couldn’t contain Blake Bortles, who ran for 88 yards in the game, including 32 on a field goal drive that tied the score just before halftime. The only touchdown came late in the third when Bortles tossed a short pass on fourth down for the deciding points, but the Bills covered as an 8-point dog.
Week 17: Bills 22, Dolphins 16
ATS Result: Bills -2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 41.5
Needing a win to help their playoff chances, the Bills jumped out to a 19-0 advantage and held on. Stephen Hauschka’s third field goal early in the fourth gave the Bills a 22-3 lead, but the Dolphins made things interesting. David Fales threw a touchdown pass and scored on a short run with under two minutes to play, cutting the lead to 22-16. Miami recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Jordan Poyer sealed the SU and ATS win with an interception.
Week 16: Patriots 37, Bills 16
ATS Result: Patriots -11
Over/Under Total Result: Over 47.5
Buffalo took the lead three different times, the last early in the second half on Stephen Hauschka’s third field goal. But the Pats scored the game’s final 24 points to hand the Bills their first ATS loss in three games. Tom Brady heated up after Jordan Poyer’s pick-six, which was the Bills’ only touchdown. They did have one overturned on a video review that would have changed things at the break. Still, the Pats onslaught led to the over cashing for the second straight week.
Week 15: Bills 24, Dolphins 16
ATS Result: Bills -3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 39.5
McCoy scored his first touchdown on the Bills’ opening drive and they never trailed, though things got scary at the end. Leading 24-6, Miami mounted a comeback scoring 10 points in the fourth to close within eight, a field goal with 39 seconds left cashed the over and the Dolphins recovered the ensuing onside kick. However, White picked off the next offering, ending the game and getting Buffalo the cover win.
Week 14: Bills 13, Colts 7 (OT)
ATS Result: Bills -3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 36.5
Offense was going to be scarce considering the conditions and the teams didn’t disappoint. Buffalo threw just 16 passes with one of them going for a touchdown for a lead that looked like it was going to hold up. However, the Colts tied the game late and went for the win, only to have their 2-point conversion called back on a penalty. McCoy ended the suspense on the second OT possession, giving the Bills the cover.
Week 13: Patriots 23, Bills 3
ATS Result: Patriots -7.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 48.5
The Bills kept Tom Brady out of the end zone and even had a pick against their nemesis, but they had a hard time stopping the run and further disaster by their offense resulted in a touchdown-less loss where Buffalo couldn’t cover the spread. New England ran for 191 yards and held the ball for 34 minutes, preventing Taylor and the Bills from gaining any traction on the offensive end.
Week 12: Bills 16, Chiefs 10
ATS Result: Bills +8.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 47
Taylor did just what he’d done all season. He wasn’t spectacular but he kept the offense moving and provided enough scoring chances for the Bills to get the upset victory, ending a streak of three consecutive SU and ATS losses. After the Chiefs got within 13-10, Stephen Hauschka kicked his third field goal and White preserved the victory with a late interception.
Week 11: Chargers 54, Bills 24
ATS Result: Chargers -7
Over/Under Total Result: Over 41.5
Peterman completed his first two passes and the Bills drove into Chargers territory before his first pick squirted through the hands of a receiver and was returned for a touchdown. The Bills came back to tie the score a few possessions later before the roof caved in. Peterman continued to give the ball away and the Bolts happily obliged, scoring 17 points off the final three picks to hand Buffalo its third straight ATS loss.
Week 10: Saints 47, Bills 10
ATS Result: Saints -2
Over/Under Total Result: Over 48.5
The Bills took the opening possession and drove into the red zone only to settle for a field goal. They wouldn’t get into Saints territory again until their final drive ended in a meaningless touchdown. By that time the Saints had put a bow around Buffalo’s second straight ATS loss. New Orleans’ 47-point scoring burst allowed the Bills to cash the over for a fourth consecutive game.
Week 9: Jets 34, Bills 21
ATS Result: Jets +3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 42
The Bills lost for just the second time ATS and they were manhandled in the trenches on both sides of the football. After tying the game on a Taylor touchdown pass to Zay Jones, the Bills gave up the next 27 points to end their two-game winning streak. Two late touchdowns allowed the over to cash for a third straight game and made the final score closer than the game was.
Week 8: Bills 34, Raiders 14
ATS Result: Bills -2
Over/Under Total Result: Over 47
The Bills took advantage of the Raiders’ sloppiness, scoring 13 points off four turnovers to cover the 2-point line and improve to 5-1-1 ATS this season. Taylor tied the game with a scoring pass in the second and Milano gave the Bills the lead for good with his score late in the first half. McCoy iced the game with a 48-yard scoring run with just over three minutes remaining to cash the over for a second straight game.
Week 7: Bills 30, Buccaneers 27
ATS Result: PUSH Bills -3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 46.5
Staring at a 7-point deficit with just over three minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the Bills pulled off an amazing comeback. McCoy tied the game with his second touchdown run with 2:28 to go and White made the defensive play by forcing and recovering a fumble to set up the game-winning field goal with 14 ticks left. The final resulted in a push with the Bills a 3-point favorite, but the offensive outburst allowed Buffalo to cash the over for just the second time.
Week 6: BYE
Week 5: Bengals 20, Bills 16
ATS Result: Bengals -3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 39
The Bills couldn’t take advantage of three turnovers and the offense was again limp as they suffered their first ATS loss of the season and saw their two-game winning streak end. Twice the Bills settled for a field goal after entering the red zone and Taylor managed just 166 yards, was picked once and sacked six times. The run game was held to 82 yards and Taylor did little with the pass attack as the under cashed for the fourth time in five games.
Week 4: Bills 23, Falcons 17
ATS Result: Bills +8
Over/Under Total Result: Under 48
Tyrod Taylor continues to struggle leading the club, but McDermott’s defense has been solid and Stephen Hauschka was lights out. The Bills managed just 281 yards, but a defensive touchdown and three field goals proved to the difference in Buffalo’s fourth straight cover win, the last three as underdogs. This was the most impressive, knocking off the defending NFC champs on the road and holding them to 17 points, which was enough to cash the under.
Week 3: Bills 26, Broncos 16
ATS Result: Bills +3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 40
The Bills scored the last 13 points to erase a 16-13 deficit and get the win. It was their third straight cover to open the season and a huge improvement over last week’s debacle. The run game is a concern after McCoy had just 21 yards, but Taylor was efficient and didn’t turn the ball over. Meanwhile, the Bills got a few takeaways late and converted a Stephen Hauschka field goal with just over three minutes left to seal the victory and cash the over for the first time.
Week 2: Panthers 9, Bills 3
ATS Result: Bills +6.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43
It wasn’t the type of performance that wins football games with the Bills coming out on the short end of a 9-3 score. Buffalo amassed a total of 176 yards, LeSean McCoy was held to nine yards on 12 carries and Taylor couldn’t generate anything through the air as the Bills played below the closing total for the second straight week. At least the defense kept Buffalo in the game and they had a chance with the ball in Carolina territory late. But they couldn’t convert.
Week 1: Bills 21, Jets 12
ATS Result: Bills -7
Over/Under Total Result: Under 42
Buffalo got a fourth quarter touchdown run from Mike Tolbert to push the lead to 21-12 and the Bills defense did the rest, giving them a cover win. The Jets are offensively-challenged and when Buffalo eliminated the ground game, Josh McCown wasn’t able to do anything through the air. Buffalo was able to keep the score below the closing total by holding New York to 214 yards of total offense.
Preseason Record: 1-3
ATS Record: 1-3
Over/Under Total Record: 1-3
The Bills won’t compete with the Patriots for the division crown and neither will the other teams in the AFC East. So that leaves Buffalo fighting it out for a Wild Card berth and winning games against teams they should beat, and especially when those games are at home, is a must. The Bills lost both games last season to a 5-win Jets team and ending that curse while getting the McDermott regime off on the right foot is crucial for the long-term success of the club.
Week 1: Bills vs. Jets, Sunday, September 10, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 2: Bills at Panthers, Sunday, September 17, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 3: Bills vs. Broncos, Sunday, September 24, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 4: Bills at Falcons, Sunday, October 1, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 5: Bills at Bengals, Sunday, October 8, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7: Bills vs. Buccaneers, Sunday, October 22, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 8: Bills vs. Raiders, Sunday, October 29, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 9: Bills at Jets, Thursday, November 2, 8:25 p.m. ET – NFL
Week 10: Bills vs. Saints, Sunday, November 12, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 11: Bills at Rams, Sunday, November 19, 4:05 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 12: Bills at Chiefs, Sunday, November 26, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 13: Bills vs. Patriots, Sunday, December 3, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 14: Bills vs. Colts, Sunday, December 10, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 15: Bills vs. Dolphins, Sunday, December 17, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 16: Bills at Patriots, Sunday, December 24, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 17: Bills at Dolphins, Sunday, December 31, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
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