After 20 long years, Bill Belichick’s dominance over the Buffalo Bills and his team’s stranglehold on the AFC East may be gone forever thanks to Josh Allen, one NFL analyst says.
Allen led the Bills on a historic win over the New England Patriots in Saturday’s Super Wild Card matchup, a dominant 47-17 victory that send Belichick and the Patriots home. Allen was close to perfect on a frigid night, completing 21-of-25 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Bills on touchdown drives all seven times the team had the ball before mercifully kneeling down to end the game.
With Allen leading the Bills, it could be an uphill battle for Belichick to ever win the division again, said NFL analyst Emmanuel Acho.
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Belichick’s Time on Top May be Done
After the Bills dominated the Patriots to send Belichick home for the offseason, Acho speculated that the game could have solidified a new era of dominance for Allen and the Bills.
“Josh Allen is 25 years old and this Bills team is only getting better. It’s a very sobering thought to realize Bill Belichick may never win the AFC East again,” he tweeted.
The Bills have now won consecutive AFC East titles with Allen at the helm, beating the Patriots four out of five times since the start of the 2020 season. The only loss for Allen and the Bills during that time came during a Monday Night Football game in Buffalo played in 50mph winds.
Acho also shared some love for Allen’s abilities in Saturday’s win, sharing video of his touchdown throw to Emmanuel Sanders and saying that “Allen’s arm needs to be drug tested immediately.”
Belichick’s Future in New England
Immediately after the loss, there was some speculation about whether Belichick could hang it up. As ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted, Belichick once said that he did not plan to coach into his 70s like former Bills coach Marv Levy, but now said he’s ready to keep going. When asked if he would be back with the Patriots next season, Belichick answered: “I’d say that would be accurate.”
Belichick also struck a reflective tone after the loss, saying there were plenty of things that the team would need to fix and that he was looking forward to working with quarterback Mac Jones again next year.
“You could argue there were elements of last night’s game in some other games, but last night’s game was the least competitive game we played,” he said. “Is that what we are? Or is that a bad night? We’ll see when we start playing again next year, I guess.”
As Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports noted, Belichick will need to make some additions if he wants to surround Jones with the supporting pieces needed to compete in the division — and also need to fix some of his own mistakes.
“But how are the Patriots going to surround him with players who make a defensive coordinator sweat? Are they going to buck convention and actually find a decent wideout early in the draft?” he wrote. “Finally, will Belichick accurately appraise his defense? Because there were key points in 2021 when he got it wrong.”