Bills vs. Falcons: 5 storylines to follow in Week 17

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  • Atlanta Falcons
    Atlanta Falcons
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  • Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
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  • Josh Allen
    Josh Allen
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  • Kyle Pitts
    Kyle Pitts
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It’s Wednesday, so the Buffalo Bills are now turning their attention to their next opponent. This week, it’s the final NFC opponent on Buffalo’s schedule.

After their massive win against the New England Patriots, the Bills (9-6) host the Atlanta Falcons (7-8).

With that, here are five storylines to follow as Week 17 approaches:

Not letting up

Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17).Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In their last win, the Bills took control of their own destiny. Win out and Buffalo takes the AFC East title for the second-straight year.

Putting yourself in such a position is great. But if the Bills lose, it’s likely that it’ll go down as a wasted opportunity.

In their final two games, the Patriots face the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins. Those are very winnable matchups.

And not to mention, the Falcons at 7-8 are not out of their own playoff race just yet, either. Do not take this one lightly in any sense.

Phenomenal rookie

Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts (8) Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts was the No. 4 overall pick because he was described as a once in a lifetime talent at his position. He comes as advertised.

On Sunday, Pitts passed Jeremy Shockey for the most receiving yards by a rookie tight end in the NFL’s modern era. He’s also closing in on Mike Ditka’s NFL rookie record of 1,076 receiving yards from 1961. Pitts currently has 949 and the Bills will be well aware of him on the field.

His talents will be talked about a lot in Orchard Park this week.

COVID issues

Bills’ Cole Beasley. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

While offensive lineman Dion Dawkins came off the COVID list last weekend, he was not alone there. Others still on the designation include defensive end AJ Epenesa, offensive lineman Jon Feliciano, and wide receivers Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley.

All four of these players are potentially impact makers. Buffalo will keep an eye on their status as Week 17 approaches.

Building confidence aggressively?

Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17). Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Bills quarterback Josh Allen made an interesting reference after his team’s win over the Patriots. In playing an aggressive game plan, particularly on offense, Allen mentioned how it was a bit of a confidence booster for the unit.

Considering that, is this plan going to be carried over going forward? It might help Buffalo hit their stride at the right time, heading into the postseason.

Atlanta’s defense currently ranks second last in DVOA heading into Week 17. Being aggressive might also put the Falcons away quickly.

The game plan for these guys

Bills’ Isaiah McKenzie (19) . (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

We mentioned Davis already. If he can return off the COVID list in time to face the Falcons, what is his playing time like? His last outing was much better than the ones wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has given in recent games.

Copy, paste, and toss that same argument out there for Isaiah McKenzie and Cole Beasley. McKenzie filled in for Beasley last week and had his best game as a pro.

And then there’s Devin Singletary. Week in and week out he’s always going to be curious. More so lately because he’s played pretty well as the No. 1 rusher. Might be smart to let him keep on rolling as the postseason approaches.

All if these potential game plans will be debated in the coming days in Buffalo.

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