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Monday Morning Breakdown

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Eric Wood | 5 observations on the Bills' AFC East clinching victory in Denver

Jerry Hughes (55) fumble recovery Buffalo Bills vs Denver Broncos, December 19, 2020 at Empower Field at Mile High. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
Jerry Hughes (55) fumble recovery Buffalo Bills vs Denver Broncos, December 19, 2020 at Empower Field at Mile High. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

1. Securing a division title with two weeks to spare

It's big for the organization for the Bills to be able to secure a home playoff game with two games left on the schedule. It's a big step and something they should be proud of. And I know these guys, they have their saying, 'Won not done' and that seems to be the bottom line. They made the playoffs in 2019, and in 2017, so it's great to see the team make the next step, and to clinch the division for the first time in 25 years is something to truly celebrate and be proud of.

2. Josh Allen continues to climb towards the top of the MVP race

It's becoming the norm at this point, but Josh Allen threw for 359 yards and completed 70 percent of his passes. He accounted for four total touchdowns and 392 total yards with no turnovers. It's remarkable to see what he's doing stat-wise, week-in and week-out. Cole Beasley said it, he's dropping dimes right now. There are throws that he's making on the move, while under pressure, that are just absolutely phenomenal plays. When you look around the league right now, he's right towards the top of the MVP race, and there are not many people that would have said that coming into the season. But Brian Daboll opened up this offense and put a lot of trust in Josh at the start of the year and it's paying off now.

3. Defense is peaking at the right time

Drew Lock last week played a great game for the Broncos throwing four touchdowns. And then Saturday against the Bills, Lock finished the game with 132 passing yards and the Bills had 3.0 sacks on him. They now have back-to-back weeks with a defensive touchdown, after not having one since 2017. This defense is making big plays and the offense has been hot for a majority of the season. This defense is getting hot as well and we talked about peaking at the right time, well, this defense is certainly peaking now.

4. Credit the Bills for staying focused after an emotional win and a short week

The team was coming off an emotional game against the Steelers at home on Sunday Night Football. And then you have a short week, a short turnaround of six days to prepare for the Broncos. You combine that with the altitude and there were a number of reasons that if the Bills had a letdown performance this week, everyone would have given them a pass. But they came out and played one of their best games of the season. And that just shows the commitment of this team, the maturity of this team and the fact that they just bring it week-in and week-out.

5. Bills now play for AFC playoff seeding

So, it's going to be interesting as all the games play out. But the Bills are in a position now where they know they have a home playoff game in hand. And with only one bye per conference this year, maybe over the next few weeks they can have guys get some rest and get healthy before the playoffs. It may be another situation where they get a shot at hosting more playoff games, improve their seeding, or whatever it may be. The Bills are in a great position already having the division secured with two weeks to go. They have the flexibility to do things that are either advantageous to them with regard to resting players and getting guys fully healthy or going after a bye or higher seeding for the playoffs.

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