BUFFALO, N.Y. — No Kansas City and no Tampa Bay.
NBC Sports' columnist Peter King predicts it will be the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 56, and said Josh Allen's maturation as a quarterback will lead the Bills down the home stretch.
"Allen is 25. After playing off-off Broadway as a quarterback for years, now he understands what it takes to win in the big time. Now he’s just got to do it. I’m betting he’s ready," King wrote.
He made sure not to slight the Bills' COVID-19 dilemma, with Buffalo having one of the four lowest vaccination rates in the NFL ahead of last Tuesday's cut downs to 53-man rosters, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
King said: "As for Covid, the Bills have had their issues; I could tell on my visit to camp in August it’s still something that could plague this team, because guys like Beasley won’t back down from their I’m-not-getting-vaxxed stances. They’d better be careful. A positive test by an unvaccinated player on, say, a Friday puts him out for two games. It’s football roulette. I think the Bills can overcome it, but they don’t sell insurance for these kinds of things."
Allen has too many weapons at wide receiver, adding Emmanuel Sanders into the mix this offseason to a corps that includes 2020 All-Pro Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis, to ignore what the Bills offense is capable of, King wrote.
He feels confident Sean McDermott will find a way to make sure the Bills' improved pass rush in the preseason stays as such in the regular season, predicting Buffalo will win not just the AFC East but earn itself a first-round bye winning the AFC regular season title.