t’s been a while since I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back to sleep because of a football game, if 5 a.m. ET is even the middle of the night. But there I was Tuesday morning, in bed and replaying the game ending sequence in my head.
Close losses just hit differently.
Why did Josh Allen slip? What happened to Dion Dawkins on that play? Despite slipping, does Allen make it anyways if Dawkins doesn’t get blown up? Or did he slip because Dawkins got smashed?
And the play before, Allen going airborne, not so much to hurdle a guy like last week but more to just find a way, any way, to get that first down and avoid fourth down altogether. You see him launch himself like that and it feels like it just has to be a first down.
Then there are the images of A.J. Brown running open over the middle with Levi Wallace chasing him. Derrick Henry approaching Micah Hyde in the open field could be nightmare fuel for aspiring defensive backs everywhere, and maybe the most "business decision-y" looking play ever. Hyde, not surprisingly given that he seems like a pro’s pro, stood in there and paid the price.
Imagine your job including sometimes having to jump in front of a moving train in an attempt to derail it.
Eventually, I started thinking about the standings and the Buffalo Bills going from being tied with the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC and feeling great about the top seed in the conference, to being tied with the Cincinnati Bengals, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans for second.
That’s about the time I decided to get up and start writing this. When you’re lying awake in bed thinking about the NFL standings, it’s time to turn on the coffee.
Let’s all hope we’re not remembering the Allen slip and a Ravens' 66-yard field goal to beat the Detroit Lions in Week 3 when we get to January.
That’s what this is all about: Seeding in the AFC, or more specifically, the top seed in the AFC.
While not entirely in control of their own destiny at 5-1 and tied with Baltimore, a look at the two teams' schedules would’ve had me feeling pretty great about the Bills' chances of coming out on top, had they pulled this game out Monday night in Nashville. The Ravens have their entire division still to play, as well as games with the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers.
Instead the Bills are in a five-way tie at 4-2 with both losses being in the conference. Of course, there’s still a lot of season left. The Bills are talented, well-coached and, I think, pretty level headed.
The last time they suffered a heartbreaking last-second loss like this one came in Week 10 last season in Arizona against the Cardinals. They re-grouped after a bye week and reeled off eight-straight wins, many of them being decisive victories.
Nothing is out of reach, to say the least, but it did just get harder.