In 1995, after two seasons as head coach, Wade Phillips was fired from the Denver Broncos. He was replaced by Mike Shanahan who has led the Broncos to two Super Bowl victories and one of the most consistent teams in the league. The Buffalo Bills, on the other hand, have not had the same fortunes after they fired Wade Phillips after the 2000 season.
Buffalo has not made the playoffs since 1999 and has not won a playoff game since 1995. What once was a team that won four consecutive AFC titles now was another constant rebuilding franchise going through coach after coach and quarterback after quarterback.
Going into this season, it was announced they would begin playing some of their home games in Canada. That just seemed to put the nail in the coffin in Buffalo’s legacy.
But things took a turn for the better for fans of West New York’s team. As home underdogs to Super Bowl hopeful Seattle, the Bills pulled off a stunning upset. And not some win the game on the last play of the game upset (hello, Carolina). They hammered the Seahawks, dominating them in every facet of the game in a 34-10 thumping.
Now it’s not just Buffalo’s great play as much as the competition they now face in the AFC. With Tom Brady injured and the Patriots squeaking by the Chiefs (who didn’t see that game as a blowout), not only is the AFC East up for grabs, but perhaps the whole conference.
Indianapolis and San Diego, the other two teams that rounded out the perennial AFC favorites, lost at home. Add to that their division, which features a still rebuilding Miami Dolphins team, and a New York Jets team that was one failed two point conversion attempt away from losing to those Dolphins.
Of course, this was just week one and there is still a lot more football to play. But walloping the Seahawks is a great start for a potential sleeper.