1. Why Tony Romo likes Buffalo as a dark horse contender to make a run in the playoffs
With a win over the Chargers, the Bills improved to 8-3 for the second consecutive season. Since 1990, teams with an 8-3 mark have reached the playoffs 92 percent of the time. With a playoff bid in 2020, it would mark the third time in four years that the Bills would make it into the postseason, but the team is still looking for its first playoff win since 1995. Tony Romo was a guest on The Bill Simmons Podcast late last week and talked about who he thought could be a dark horse contender make a Super Bowl run.
"To me, the Cardinals, and Buffalo would be the two dark horse teams," Romo said. "I'm not saying they're going to get there, but they are teams that have a quarterback who can do it and have a defensive system that I think could give teams trouble. … Sean McDermott, great coach for the Bills, and Josh Allen has rare ability, and he's still learning the game. I think your starting to see the flashes of how good he can be, it's just him learning."
2. Andre Roberts' impact on the Bills offense
Andre Roberts has been a special teams weapon for the Bills this season. In his past three games, Roberts has taken 10 kickoff returns for a combined 293 yards and had two returns of 40-plus yards. In Sunday's game, the Bills average starting field position was their own 35-yard line, while the Chargers average field position was their own 24-yard line. Roberts ranks second in the league in kickoff returns (24) and return yards (692). He also has the most votes as a return specialist for the Pro Bowl in the AFC – second in the NFL behind Cordarrelle Patterson. Brian Daboll explained what the offense gains because of his return abilities, and what he means to this Bills team.
"You get field position," Daboll stated. "And that's a couple less first downs you have to try to pick up or less yards you have to get to try to get it into the scoring zone. He's been a valuable piece to our football team. Whether that's as a special teams player, a receiver that knows all the spots or basically a leader."
3. Eye discipline is key for this Bills defense
The Bills next matchup is a Monday Night duel with the reigning NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. The Bills defense will look to continue to build off the success they had against the Chargers where they held them to 17 points and were 3-16 on third downs. This season, A.J. Klein, Tremaine Edmunds, and Jordan Poyer have had multiple games with 10 or more tackles. Efficient tackling and eye discipline will be crucial against a 49ers team that can trick you at the line of scrimmage and beat you with yards after the catch. Leslie Frazier touched on how continuing to maintain eye discipline this week against San Francisco will be a big key to the game.
"We're going to have to be so disciplined as far as our responsibilities and having disciplined eyes in order for us to have success," Frazier explained. "That will be as critical as anything that we do because they do a lot of window-dressing all throughout the line and [make] you think you see something then all of a sudden, it's not there. So, we're going to have to be a really disciplined defense to have success against a really, really good running game."