OPINION: Howard Picks the Bills: Week 14

With the Bills back as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, how confident is Howard Simon feeling about their Super Bowl chances?
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Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - After a pair of losses to open their divisional portion of the 2022 regular season schedule, the Buffalo Bills managed to bounce back this past Thursday night with a pretty dominant win over the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

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Although the Patriots held a 7-3 lead in the first quarter after Marcus Jones broke free for a long catch-and-run touchdown, the Bills never waivered. Buffalo responded from there with a nine-play drive spanning 82 yards, capped off with a Josh Allen touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs to re-take the lead.

After going up 17-7 heading into the second half, the Bills stuck the Patriots with the killing blow in the third quarter with a long 15-play drive spanning 94 yards and chewing 8:55 off the clock. As the drive extended into the fourth quarter, the Patriots had no answer to stop the Bills, and Devin Singletary punched the ball back into the end zone from one yard out to give Buffalo a 24-7 lead.

The most New England could do from there was add a field goal from kicker Nick Folk, and that was all she wrote in a 24-10 win for the Bills to improve to 9-3 on the season.

With the win, it put the Bills in a position to not only re-take the top spot in the AFC East, but also the No. 1 seed in the AFC standings. Buffalo needed a pair of outcomes on Sunday to go their way, and the division and conference would, once again, be theirs with five games remaining this season.

First, the Bills re-took sole possession of the division thanks to a San Francisco 49ers victory over the visiting Dolphins to drop Miami to 8-4 this season.

Later Sunday evening, Buffalo was able to secure their spot back atop the conference after the Cincinnati Bengals took down the Kansas City Chiefs for a third-straight time. While the Bills and Chiefs both share a 9-3 record, Buffalo holds the tie-breaker thanks to their win back in Week 6 at Arrowhead Stadium.

This stretch for the Bills in the 2022 schedule is a significant one, as the team will play two more consecutive games against AFC East rivals. However, the next two games for the Bills are back at the friendly confines of Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.

While Buffalo's Week 15 showdown with the Dolphins on Saturday night looms large, the Bills will first need to face Mike White and the New York Jets this upcoming Sunday afternoon.

In the first matchup of the season between the Bills and Jets in East Rutherford, New Jersey, it was the home team that managed to come back from a 14-3 deficit and end up with a 20-17 victory. While the Jets, led by Zach Wilson at the time, didn't do much offensively to control the game, it was the defense that shut down the Bills in the second half, only limiting Buffalo to a field goal.

Photo credit ADMAR Construction Equipment and Supplies

As for the Jets, they are coming off a tough loss to the Minnesota Vikings this past Sunday, who could not manage to put the visitors away throughout the game. While the Jets battled and had a couple of late chances to take the game for themselves, White was unable to connect with his targets for seven points, and it resulted in a 27-22 loss.

For the Jets, a win on Sunday in Orchard Park would help them stay firmly in the race in the AFC standings, as they currently sit at 7-5 and hold the final Wild Card spot in the conference.

Despite the strong play from White under center and the defense of New York creating havoc for opponents, Howard Simon has no concerns for the Bills heading into their Week 14 matchup with the Jets.

In this week's edition of "Howard Picks the Bills", Howard has the Bills riding out the rest of the 2022 season on the hottest of streaks possible. Not only does he have the Bills beating the Jets on Sunday, he also has Buffalo winning out the rest of the regular season to finish 14-3 and remain atop the AFC standings at the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

In addition, for the first time this year, it was time for Howard to pick the Bills in the playoffs (with help from the ESPN Playoff Machine). After a first round bye to rest up for the playoff run, Howard sees this Bills team making the run to glory, as he picks Buffalo to beat the Dolphins again in the AFC Divisional Round and the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game at Highmark Stadium, en route to an appearance in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.

Then in the Big Game on Feb. 12, Howard is picking the Bills to avenge their two Super Bowl losses of the past to the Dallas Cowboys, as he sees Buffalo raising its first Vince Lombardi Trophy in franchise history!

Be sure to follow along on Twitter for the latest picks from Howard by using the hashtag #HowardPicksTheBills. You can also track all of Howard's picks throughout the season with Brayton Wilson's picks tracker on Twitter: @BraytonJWilson.

You can listen to the latest edition of "Howard Picks the Bills" in the player, or watch the Week 14 edition below:

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Featured Image Photo Credit: David Butler II - USA TODAY Sports