The Buffalo Bills have been anointed the early season favorites for the Super Bowl for the 2022 NFL campaign with the pressure on Josh Allen to rise to the occasion. For the majority of the 2021 season, Allen was in sensational form and was a contender for the MVP award, although he finished off the pace of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady before Rodgers was eventually crowned for a fourth time. Allen and the Bills endured heartbreak in the playoffs, losing out to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime after playing out a game for the ages at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Bills seemingly had the game won with only 13 seconds remaining on the clock, but allowed the Chiefs to move into field-goal range. Harrison Butler levelled the score before Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce won the game for Kansas City in overtime. Buffalo have to bounce back from the disappointment, and you can find odds of +650 in a bet on NFL for the franchise to win the Super Bowl in the 2022 campaign. It would be a major achievement for a team that has been starved of success, and a vindication of the gamble that the Bills took in 2018.
Allen was tipped as a top quarterback in the NFL Draft tips ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft, but also a prospect who could potentially be a boom-or-bust selection. In the early stages of his career, it appeared that Allen was trending towards being a bust, notably struggling under the bright lights of his first playoff game against the Houston Texans. Under the guidance of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Allen grew and made the leap in the 2020 campaign, producing an elite season throwing 37 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions along with 8 rushing scores. The Chiefs and Mahomes were there to knock the Bills out of the playoffs after reaching the AFC Championship Game as Buffalo failed to rise to the occasion, but there was hope for the future.
Alongside the Chiefs, the Bills were one of the favorites for the Super Bowl in the 2021 season. Inconsistent play from the offense knocked Buffalo off course, including poor performances from Allen against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots, with the latter coming on home turf. It allowed the Tennessee Titans to claim top spot in the AFC, while the Chiefs finished in the second seed.
The home-field advantage for Kansas City would prove to be crucial as their fans willed Mahomes and the offense on even with little time left to tie the game before winning the Divisional Round in overtime. The Bills were aggrieved by the manner of their loss, but at the same time they had the game in hand and only required one stop. It would have been easier at home rather than at Arrowhead Stadium, putting the onus on the franchise to finish in top spot in the regular season in the AFC next term.
To do that Allen must limit his days of poor production against inferior teams. The Jaguars were the worst team in the NFL last season, but limited the Bills’ offense to only six points. It was a similar story against the Patriots as Allen struggled in the cold against Bill Belichick’s defense. It was not a case of ability as he proved weeks later when he dominated New England in the Wildcard Round, inflicting a humbling defeat on their rivals. Allen has to cultivate the consistency that all great quarterbacks have developed over the course of their careers. If he takes that step with his all-round talent, it could be the defining factor in a charge towards the Super Bowl for Sean McDermott’s men.