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The Buffalo Bills’ Toughest Tests in 2024

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  • Digital Team 

The Buffalo Bills enter the 2024 NFL season with high expectations and a target on their backs. In recent years, the Highmark outfit has developed into a genuine powerhouse in the AFC, winning their division in each of the last four seasons. Last term, however, a contender emerged in the form of the Miami Dolphins while the return to fitness of a certain Aaron Rodgers will surely catapult the New York Jets into contention as well.

Much of the Bills’ success has been built on the back of superstar quarterback Josh Allen. The former University of Wyoming sensation has transformed the fortunes of his New York State outfit, throwing for over 4,000 yards in each of his last four seasons and developing into a top-three QB. However, despite his brilliance, his side has been unable to reach the Super Bowl, and the first Lombardi in franchise history still remains elusive.

The Bovada NFL odds make the Bills a +1600 contender for the championship this season. However, if they are to emerge victorious, they will have to do it the hard way – not only do they have to face both the Jetts and the Dolphins twice as part of their AFC East commitments, but they also have a challenging schedule against teams from the rest of the league. And here are the toughest of them.

Baltimore Ravens

The Bills certainly have two winnable home games on weeks one and three as they host the Arxona Cardinals and the Jacksonville Jaguars. And they will certainly have to pick up victories in those two considering the fact they have two extremely tough road games on weeks four and five. The first of those is a trip to face a rejuvenated Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Last term, the Maryland outfit finished the regular season as the AFC’s top seeds with a 13-4 record. Quarterback supremo Lamar Jackson returned to peak form, winning the MVP award for the second time in his career with his dual threat playing style on full display once again. Now, he has additional support in the form of running back Derrick Henry, which can only strengthen an already overpowered offense.

Baltimore’s home-field advantage can’t be underestimated in this one. Their raucous home support, coupled with often unpredictable weather conditions, make it one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. The Bills’ defense will need to contain Jackson’s capabilities both in the air and on the ground while also keeping an eye on the Ravens’ new and improved running game, which is now spearheaded by the eighth member of the 2,000-yard club.

Houston Texans

Things don’t get any easier as the second of those two aforementioned road games takes the Bills to NRG Stadium to face off against a Houston Texans side determined to build on an impressive 2023. Last term, the Lone Star state outfit managed to win their division thanks to their rookie sensation under center, C.J. Stroud. The second overall pick of last year’s draft was in scintillating form throughout his maiden campaign, breaking rookie records left, right, and center while dragging his team to the divisional round of the playoffs despite being unfancied.

This season, the Texans have strengthened, taking the Bills’ star wide receiver Stefon Diggs as well as Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon. Those additions have seen the bookies slash odds on them securing a made Lombardi down to +1000, making them the fourth favorites for success. They will be eager to prove themselves against an established team in the form of the Bills on week five, laying down an early marker for the rest of their campaign.

Kansas City Chiefs

Arguably the most anticipated matchup of the season comes in Week 11 when the Bills host the Kansas City Chiefs. This showdown has become a bitter rivalry in recent years, especially because the reigning champions have eliminated Allen and co. from the postseason in three of the last four seasons. Last term was perhaps the sourest of the lot for fans of the Bills, suffering a narrow 17-10 defeat at Highmark despite heading into their Divisional Round clash as favored.

Now, the Bills will be determined to secure revenge, but to do so they will have to stifle the majestic Patrick Mahomes. He has led his side to back-to-back Lombardi’s and this year his side is the short-priced favorite to make it three on the bounce. Whether they live up to the billing or not remains to be seen, but the Bills will certainly aim to land a hammer blow to their hopes of becoming history-makers in this clash, underlining their own Lombardi credentials.

Mahomes’ ability to extend plays and the Chiefs’ explosive offensive weapons such as Travis Kelce require a disciplined and adaptable defensive approach. Conversely, their defense has improved over the years, and their pass rush can create problems for the Bills’ offensive line. This game will likely have significant playoff implications, and the Bills will need Josh Allen at the top of his game if his side are to get over the line.