This week starts the final push to the playoffs or a draft pick. The Bills can only afford to drop one more game (at most) – so this one means a lot, particularly because of their 1-4 AFC record. Will the Bills win? Take a look at our staff predictions and make your own!
Michael Necci (@manecci) Bills 26 Bengals 24 – The Bills need to finish the season no worse than 6-1. A 10-6 season may get them there, if they run the last 7 they should be in no problem. The frustrating part, (AGAIN) is that they once again put themselves in this dire straits. Every year during this streak we look back and say, “Well, if they beat so and so, and if they beat team X, they would be 11-5”. This season is no different. I won’t even count Week 1 against Baltimore but if they took care of business vs the Jets, finished Miami, and beat Seattle, this team is 7-2. Those are the 3 games we will look back on. And we complain about all the injuries and suspensions this team has had to deal with this season and THEY STILL SHOULD BE 7-2. The last 7 games feature 4 home games, 3 road games. The toughest road game they face is @ Oakland. They will win @ the Jets, and the other road game is this week against a reeling Bengals team. WIN. THIS. GAME. The Bengals have three dominate players that will give the Bills absolute fits. AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, and defensive tackler Geno Atkins. Atkins will give the Bills and us fans the biggest headache. Losing Eric Wood is a huge loss, and Atkins should exploit the Bills new starting Center, whomever that may be. Green and Eifert will be licking their chops against this all of a sudden putrid secondary. Having said all of that, I think the Bills find away and win in Cincinnati.
Mike Migliore (@mmigliore 6-3) – I totally forgot about Bills season following the results of last week’s election, because to be honest, a 4-5 Bills team seems pretty insignificant compared to half the country casting votes for a man who hasn’t tried to hide his bigotry or ignorance throughout his campaign.
The man who introduced Trump at his rally in Buffalo this past summer, Rex Ryan, is trying to figure out how to put this season back together after three straight losses. Following a disappointing loss to Miami (winners of four straight suddenly), it’s hard to kill the Bills for losing to a juggernaut Patriots team or by 6 points in a Monday night thriller at Seattle, who suddenly look like one of the league’s elite teams again. The problem is, the Bills are pretty much out of the playoff race as they stare up at eight AFC teams that have 5 wins or more, as well as the 4-5 Steelers and Colts. It’s the proverbial “In The Hunt” season again and these games are the worst.
The Bills aren’t good enough to threaten for one the two AFC wild card spots, but they aren’t close to being bad enough to contend for a top-5 draft pick either. So, we’re kinda stuck. That’s why I have little interest in the rest of this season at this point. Now that might change if the Bills suddenly go on a winning streak, but I’m not counting on it.
Cincinnati is reeling and probably heading to finally firing Marvin Lewis, but they have Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert, and AJ Green, which means they are going to throw all over the Bills’ embattled defense. The Bills score 25 and lose again. Prediction: Bengals 33, Bills 25
Evan, @Evancdent, (5-4). Bills 27 – Bengals 23 While I admit I’ve spent a little too much time wondering whether the Bills will drag it out and let us down at the end of the season or just lose some frustrating games immediately and then win meaningless games at the end of the year, I’ll focus on just the game ahead. We all know the stakes – the Bills need to win at least 6 of their next 7 to make the playoffs, if not win all 7. Up first, the Bengals.
I’m liking the Bills’ chances, even on the road, coming off a bye week. The Bengals are on a short week, and their offensive line looked terrible against the Giants. With a healthy Marcell Dareus, I think the Bills can cause a ruckus up front. I have no confidence in the secondary stopping AJ Green or Tyler Eifert, but I think the defense can limit the damage, as they did in the second half against the Seahawks. As for the offense, I like having a rested LeSean McCoy, and I think Tyrod will be able to build on his last performance. Am I feeling a little dumb for all this optimism as I type out this prediction? For sure. But what’s the bye week for if it doesn’t replenish your hopes a little bit?
Mike McKenzie (@mack10zie 4-5) – This game opened at +4 for Buffalo, which I loved and hope you were able to get in on. It has since moved to +3, which seems about right. This is a 100% coin flip game, and the Bengals being at home is likely worth 3 points. This sets up well for Buffalo. They are coming off a bye, playing against a team on a short week (much like the Pats last week). I do think Cincinnati is more talented, but they also should be a bit beat up and mentally fragile after the last game. The match-ups that most scare me are AJ Green versus our DBs, and Eifert against our LBs. I think if they come out throwing and keep throwing, they can exploit our weakness. I don’t think Marvin Lewis has it in him to throw enough to blow us out. I’ll take Buffalo 23 Bengals 21 mainly due to where this game is on the schedule for both teams.
@2ITB_Buffalo 3-6 – Two game picking streak! Both were Bills losses, so not as impressive. I’m amazed that the Bills are coming off a bye to play a team getting short rest, it’s a Festivus miracle. Of course Marcell Dareus is still something of a question mark, Ronald Darby is likely getting bumped down the depth chart and the Bills will be starting either Ryan Groy or Patrick Lewis at center. Things are going well! I can’t figure out if I’m more concerned about Cincy’s vertical passing game or the impact Eric Wood’s absence has on the run game. I don’t look at the Bengals as any tall task, which gives me a little faith that Stephon Gimore could keep AJ Green quiet assuming he’s given proper safety help. If Green is neutralized I think the Bengals have a pretty toothless attack. What I’m unsure of is if the Bills defense can hold that down for 60 minutes. I think that unit is really starting to unravel as their health deteriorates and I have a sneaking suspicion that costs them this game. Bengals 24-13.
Brett Ludwiczak (@BLeez17, 4-5) Buffalo 24 Cincinnati 21 – The Bills had a week off at least to recover from whatever it was the officials decided to do in Seattle. Cincinnati looks as gross as Skyline chili right now. Cincinnati is on a short week after a tough loss against the Giants on Monday night. While the Bengals certainly have the better weapons on offense with Jeremy Hill, A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert, I think the Bills take this.