A win in New England is huge regardless of the division race


It is Week 16 and the Buffalo Bills still have a chance at winning the AFC East. While it isn't an easy path, there is a path nonetheless. 

To overtake the New England Patriots for the division title, the Bills will need to beat them in Foxboro this Saturday, take down the New York Jets at home next Sunday, and they will need a shocking upset by the Miami Dolphins over New England in Week 17. 

Whether or not you still believe in the possibility that Ryan Fitzpatrick recreates his 2011 magic against the Patriots, a win for the Bills in New England this week would be significant for a potential playoff run. 

Let's take a trip all the way back to 2007. The 15-0 Patriots were in East Rutherford, New Jersey looking to become the first undefeated regular season team since the 1972 Dolphins. In a matchup with the 10-5 New York Giants, the Patriots were heavy favorites to go 16-0.

While they did just that, it wasn't as easy as many expected. The Giants kept it a three-point game up until just a little over four minutes to go in the fourth quarter before New England pulled away.

Almost every team will tell you they don't believe in moral victories, but when it came time for a rematch in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants knew they could hang with one of the best teams in NFL history. 

Of course, we all know what happened after that. The upset was completed and New England has tried to bury their nightmares of 18-1 with Super Bowl victories ever since. 

For what it's worth, that loss still probably brings them more torment than any title win has brought them joy. 

Anyway, back to the Bills.

Even if it doesn't result in their first division title since 1995, a win would be huge if they were to, hypothetically, meet the Patriots again in the playoffs.

Another close loss wouldn't be detrimental either. If the Bills were to lose but the offense, specifically quarterback Josh Allen, made plays against the best defense in football? The confidence, especially for Allen, would be a big moral victory.

The Bills nearly took down New England in Buffalo earlier this season, and that was despite three interceptions and an injury to Allen.

Buffalo only lost the Week 4 matchup 16-10 with multiple opportunities late in the game to tie or take the lead. That was also with Matt Barkley at quarterback, by the way. 

The defense held Tom Brady to 150 yards, a 46.2% completion percentage, and a 45.9 quarterback rating, which is his lowest in over a decade. 

Not to mention in that game, six points for New England came from a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. 

A down-to-the-wire finish despite significant offensive struggles followed by a win or good offensive showing in New England? A place the Bills haven't won a non-Week 17 game since 2000?

Just like the Giants felt, one has to imagine the Bills would be feeling pretty confident heading into a potential rematch in the playoffs.