After an offseason coronating them as the new golden children of the NFL, Buffalo gave Bills Mafia something to believe in when they stomped out the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams to open up the season.
Many sportsbooks listed at SportsbooksOnline.com had the Bills as preseason favorites to win Super Bowl LVII in Arizona and Quarterback Josh Allen as the favorite to win the league’s Most Valuable Player award. Since their rout of the Rams in Week 1, odds for those bets have shortened significantly with Buffalo’s Super Bowl odds now listed at just +500 and Josh Allen’s chances down to +450.
While they’re undoubtedly a great team deserving of a ton of respect, the rush to crown them as kings of the league has been a bit rushed. I can’t remember ever seeing this much hype in preseason for a team that has yet to even reach the Conference Championship game.
At this point, you may be asking who should be the Super Bowl favorites if not the Bills. The answer is the Kansas City Chiefs.
A playoff battle for the ages
While the Bengals and Rams faced off in last season’s Super Bowl, most NFL fans would agree that the epic AFC Divisional battle between the Chiefs and Bills was the highlight of the postseason.
Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes went touchdown-for-touchdown in an epic battle that saw a jaw-dropping 25 points scored in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter before the Chiefs were able to secure the victory in overtime. It was one for the record books and felt like a coming-out party for Allen and the Bills as legit contenders.
This narrative held for Buffalo throughout the offseason, while Chiefs fans were left with the disappointment of blowing a huge lead to the Bengals in the Conference Championship Game.
While Buffalo played phenomenally and would have won against most opponents, the Chiefs were able to pull the rabbit out of their hat and walk home with the victory, but it doesn’t feel like that. Instead, it’s almost been perceived as the Bills rising without mentioning the fact that they lost the game.
An on-the-fly rebuild
While the Bills spent all summer as the hyped-up favorites, the Chiefs had a decidedly unsexy offseason. The Chiefs traded their star wideout Tyreek Hill over a contract dispute and replaced him with a couple of solid veterans (Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling) and a rookie 2nd round pick (Skyy Moore).
While losing their star wideout, the Chiefs were able to pick up less flashy players and give their entire roster more depth, which was sorely needed along the offensive line.
For what it’s worth, Mahomes didn’t seem to be missing Hill at all and lit up Arizona to the tune of five touchdowns in their season opener. Much like the Bills, KC took care of business on the road.
Buffalo had a tougher opponent, but it’s fair to say the way the Chiefs thoroughly dismantled the Cardinals was just as impressive as the Bills’ win over the Rams.
It’s still early, but this more balanced Chiefs roster doesn’t seem to have lost a step since beating the Bills last season.
Avoiding the flavor of the month
At this point, it’s become boring to pick the Chiefs to win. Their track record over the past few seasons is incredibly impressive, but Mahomes’ brilliance has become passe and Andy Reid has been coaching for a billion years.
It’s not interesting or hot enough of a take to pick them to win it all. This has to be a big factor in why the Bills are favored over so many teams with more impressive resumes. The Chiefs, Bucs, and Rams (the last three Super Bowl winners) are all relatively disrespected by oddsmakers when compared to the Bills.
It’s not to say that Buffalo doesn’t deserve to be in the conversation. They are absolutely one of the best teams in the NFL and should be high on the list.
It’s just that the rush to anoint them as champions just seems rushed when compared to a team with the resume and roster of the Chiefs.