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Buffalo Bills: What Sunday means for the 2019 NFL season

Buffalo Bills
Sep 22, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox (88) celebrates his touchdown catch with teammate tight end Lee Smith (85) against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Back in July, I wrote about how the Buffalo Bills aren’t your Cinderella sleeper for the 2019 NFL season. Through the first three weeks of the season, they’re making me eat my words.

It’s only three weeks, though. Look back at 3-0 teams in the 2018 season, and it consisted of all the Florida teams. Where are those teams today? A combined 2-7.

A 3-0 start is what teams strive for to start every season. It’ll start to sell tickets but most importantly, sell hope to a fan base. The Bills fan base has hope right now. But is it justified?

Have the Bills found their franchise quarterback?

Hope. Quarterback Josh Allen has given a starving Buffalo sports city precisely that. Throughout the first three weeks of the season, Allen has an offensive share metric (OSM) of 23.94. While some play has contributed to the final result, Allen has a lot of help on the offensive side of the ball.

Head coach Sean McDermott knew that coming into his second year as the quarterback, Allen would need to make the step forward supplanting himself not only as a viable starter but as someone that can put the offense on his back and win the team games.

It’s taken just three weeks for Allen to lead the team in two come-from-behind victories. Part of the success stems from Allen and his development. Part of it comes from both McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll feeling more comfortable running more of the offense through Allen. And the rest of the success comes from general manager Brandon Beane who spent the offseason finding Allen weapons across the offense.

The hope is palpable throughout Bills Mafia on Twitter. While Allen has struggled to put points on the board (only three touchdowns through the air this season), flashes of what Buffalo needs from the QB position have gotten the Bills to this point. As the OSM states, Allen isn’t the only one responsible for Buffalo’s success on offense. Rookie tight end Dawson Knox had a lot to say about that this past Sunday.

The franchise QB isn’t here. Not yet. This coming Sunday, however, will tell a lot of this seasons’ story not only for Allen but the Bills organization as a whole.

The New England matchup

This weekend the Bills have a lot on their plate. Not only do they have a perfect record to uphold, but they have to do it against their top competition, the New England Patriots. The outcome of the game will either put Buffalo in conversation with the rest of the league’s best or it could spit them out en route to another season Bills fans have become accustomed to.

You probably think that’s a bit dramatic. Sure, with 14 other games on the schedule outside of their AFC East foe, the Bills have plenty of time to show what they’re made of. When it comes to in-division opponents, things are just a little bit tougher, a little bit sweeter and much more important.

History tells you, Buffalo has only defeated New England four times during the Tom Brady era. 2019 is the year that history can be thrown out the window. At least that’s what Bills fans are hoping for this Sunday. Buffalo isn’t in a position to dethrone New England from the top of the AFC East right now, but a win from Allen and the rest of the new-look Bills this Sunday could put themselves in serious contention for the playoffs in January.

Tyler Olson is a writer for PFN covering the Buffalo Bills. You can follow him @to2471 on Twitter.

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