Buffalo Bills Need to Beat a Few More Contenders to Get to the Playoffs

Aaron McKinneyCorrespondent IIISeptember 25, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass over  Jerod Mayo #51 of the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 34-31. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

On the heels of their win against the Patriots, the Bills find themselves in an unusual position: first place. Not only did they beat the Patriots for the first time in eight years, they appear to be the only other team in the AFC East with a positive outlook. 

Let's get right down to it. The Bills stand at 3-0. Although the Bengals are improved, Buffalo should stay on course with another win next week.

That would have them at 4-0 going into a very rough stretch. The next five games are against four NFC East teams and the NY Jets. Going into the season, I expected a split with the Jets. The first game is at home, so let's take that one. Going 2-2 against the NFC East will probably be considered lofty, so let's say they hit a rough stretch and go 1-3 with a win over the Giants, whom I don't think can keep up because of a depleted secondary and wide receiving corps. 

The next six games will be the difference.

I see a win against Miami, followed by a loss in the Meadowlands to the Jets. Tennessee, even though it will be one of many shootouts, is winnable. That brings us to what I think is the swing game in San Diego. The Chargers are a very good team but, even though they should win their division, are inconsistent and can be taken. Miami and Denver at home should both be wins, and I wouldn't expect the Patriots to allow Buffalo to sweep them. 

If the Bills lose that swing game against the Chargers, that puts the team's record at 9-7. Even if that isn't good enough to make the playoffs, it is still a huge improvement.

On the other hand, if the team wins at San Diego, the Bills would be 10-6 and most likely a Wild Card team. Why a Wild Card team? Well, although the Bills are coming off a win against a title contender and are undefeated, let's not get carried away. This team hasn't won in over a decade. The Patriots WILL win the division. They have the experience and know what it takes.

This team is now on the rise and showed they have some moxie. It should be fun to see where the rest of this unexpected season takes them.