Brian Baldinger says the Buffalo Bills are capable of knocking off the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC, with the former NFL offensive lineman seeing a power shift towards the Bills in the conference.
The Bills (12-3) clinched a first division for 25 years with a 48-18 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 15, and they followed that up with a 38-9 drubbing of traditional AFC East powerhouse, the New England Patriots, on Monday night – their eighth win in nine.
On the latest episode of Inside The Huddle – which you can listen to in the podcast player above – Baldinger heaped praise on the Bills as an organisation, as well as their quarterback Josh Allen in particular.
“We keep saying it every week, but the development of Josh Allen into a fully-fledged superstar in our business can’t be stated strongly enough,” said Baldinger.
“He’s the leader of that team. You can tell how the players rally around him. He’s everything that you want your franchise quarterback to be.
“He’s a terrific player, and he gets the ball to their second-best player Stefon Diggs routinely. Nobody can cover him.
“There’s a brotherhood there, there’s great coaching going on. And you can see that this is now the model; New England were the model for 20 years on how to do it, but you can see it’s now Buffalo.
“How to build an organisation the right way, with the right type of culture, the right type of players and then go out and prove it every week.
“They’ve stripped the mantle from the Patriots officially. And they are up there with the Kansas City Chiefs right now as an elite team.”
One of Buffalo’s three losses on the season came against the Chiefs (14-1) in Week Six, so can they actually live with the defending champions should they meet in the postseason?
“I do [think they can],” Baldinger answered. “Because neither team is a powerful running team, they’re both built on their quarterback throwing the football.
“A team with a powerful running attack – like the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns – will give them the most trouble.
“But if they get into a shootout with Kansas City should they meet in January, Allen against (Patrick) Mahomes would first of all be great theatre, but second of all Buffalo won’t back down in that type of a match-up.
“That game would be a lot of fun and could be one of those games that turns into an instant classic.”
There is one team in particular, however, who Baldinger believes could knock off the Bills, alluding to it there, with the Ravens (10-5) currently riding a five-game winning streak into the playoffs, should they beat the Cincinnati Bengals to book their spot on Sunday.
“I think that Baltimore is the most dangerous team they could get in the postseason – if they take care of business in Cincinnati,” added Baldinger.
“I saw them against the (New York) Giants – a good defensive front – and they had no answers for what Baltimore is doing.
“They’ve added some misdirection to their running game and in this last four-game stretch, they’ve ran for almost 1,000 yards – better than any four-game stretch they had last year when they set an NFL record for rushing yards in a season.
“And I don’t know if anybody – Kansas City or Buffalo – is going to have an answer for what they’re doing.”
Also discussed on the latest episode of Inside The Huddle:
– The NFL’s move towards a 17-game regular season in 2021
– The Washington Football Team’s decision to release second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins
– Jared Goff’s thumb injury that will keep him out of the Los Angeles Rams’ Week 17 clash with the Arizona Cardinals
– J.J. Watt’s emotional rant after his Houston Texans team slipped to 4-11 on the season after another defeat
– AFC and NFC playoff implications ahead of the final weekend of the regular season
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