The Bills entered their bye week after having a victory snatched from their grasp, via a last-second miracle throw from Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray to receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Neither team has been the same since then.
The Cardinals, who were soaring at 6-3 after the Hail Murray, have lost four of six games. They could now miss the playoffs.
The Bills, who entered their bye at 7-3 following the loss, have rattled off five wins in a row. All by double digits. They’ve won four straight nationally-televised games, including a pair of Monday night contests and a Sunday night showdown against the Steelers.
In Buffalo’s last two games, they’ve outscored their opponents 86-28.
The post-bye outburst possibly traces to the Hail Murray game.
“This is kind of crazy to say, but I’m glad it happened,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. “I’m glad it happened just because, even after that game, we were talking, and we all knew we should have won that game. You can play what if? You can say, ‘What if you would have hit that ball down or whatever it may be,’ but I think that game really gave us confidence in the sense that, we’ve got to capitalize on each and every play. We know how good our team is.”
In other words, the Bills realize not to let games boil down to a Hail Mary scenario. They decided to win and to win big, in order to prevent a victory from quickly flipping to a defeat.
“We went into the bye, we really reflected a lot on that play,” Hyde said. “We talked about it a lot, and on that game. We came out of [the bye], and we just said, ‘Hey, flush it.’ We’re going to do better. We’re going to play better. That last play, it was crazy, but at the same time, Tre’Davious, [Jordan Poyer], and myself, we all took responsibility of it, and I think it made us better players and it made our team better because of it.”
The proof is in the pudding. And hot wings are in the pudding, too. And the Bills gradually but inevitably have become in recent weeks the best team in football, as evidenced by their placement in the Week 17 power rankings.