BOSTON (CBS) – Everyone loves the Buffalo Bills these days. How could I not?

It’s a historic franchise in a place where people love their sport. They clearly like their beaks, swords, buffalo and bulls. They are also always among the most popular television markets when the Stanley Cup is played.

They also like to throw themselves over tables, eat garbage, wear disgusting pants, and generally have a good time. What’s not to love?

And what do these people get as a reward for this effort? Nothing but great heartache. From Brett Hull’s wide right to Brett Hull’s finger in the crease, to four straight Super Bowl defeats, the miracle of Music City and twenty years as a punching bag for Bill Belichick, Buffalo sports fans have seen it all.

That’s probably why so many football fans across America – and even so many people here in New England – were very happy to see that Buffalo had some great strikers who, frankly, deserved something good.

I would count myself among those people too. I’m not a monster, okay? Some people clearly deserve a positive break. When it comes to athletic success, I think Bills fans are among the most deserving. (I say this despite a few instances of Buffalo football fans being pretty mean to me over the years when all I did was say their team was bad, when in fact the team was bad. But I can let bygones be bygones. Wow, that’s very generous of me 😉

If I say so now, what drives me through this crazy world every day and every minute is a desperate need for entertainment and humor. With only four teams left in the running for qualifiers, the need for this football-mad nation is simply too great.

We need the Bills to do the Super Bowl.

And we need them to lose to Tom Brady.

I know, I know, I know. All those nice things you said. The beautiful people of Buffalo deserve good things. I know, I know.

There are just some things that you know are wrong and unfair, but you know are funny. And the Bills’ return to the Super Bowl – after 25 years without a playoff win in their first season when Brady left the league – to write their hearts out on the biggest stage in sports?

Oh. Oh, sweet baby.

That would be so nice.

You won’t be able to control yourself.

Unless you’re from Buffalo. Then you’ll probably have a hard time laughing.

Anyway, there’s what’s funny and what’s really going to happen. They don’t often agree.

So let’s make some selections.

(Hosts in Capitol; Thursday line)

GREEN BAY (-3.5) over Tampa Bay

Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers (Photos: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The heart wants what the heart wants, but sometimes the brain has to intervene. And the Packers are too good.

I am well aware that the Bucs beat the Packers in Week 6, that Brady was a great performer, that Ronald Jones was desperate, that Aaron Rodgers had the worst game of his MVP season, and that the game was at halftime.

I don’t think it makes any difference either.

Except that the Bucs can win if the Packers play terribly, Sunday afternoon in Wisconsin won’t matter much.

Rogers is now in the midst of a major transformation. He has scored 21 touchdowns and one interception in his last seven games. He also ran for three touchdowns. His connection to Davante Adams exists on a plane of existence that most of us have never known. Defensively, Green Bay has held their opponents to 18.4 points per game since Thanksgiving. The forecast for Sunday is 28 degrees and snow. Brady may be able to put his 20 years of experience to good use there, but some of his teammates are in danger of waking up in Lambeau.

I admit I’m a sucker for that story, so I hope the Bucs win. I just have no logical reason to believe this will happen.


Packers 31, Buccaneers 21

Rodgers’ presence in the second Super Bowl of his career will certainly be good news for the league. The Rogers-Mahomes game may even be good for ratings. You never know.

Is that going to happen? Well, uh…

Buffalo (+3) via KANSAS

Josh Allen, Chris Jones (Photo: Brian M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Good God. This psychopath picks tickets to punch his Super Bowl ticket.

What? For. Id.

That may be true. (Maybe it has nothing to do with my football teams, either.) But there’s something about the Buffalo Bills that’s hard to ignore.

Seventh-seeded Baltimore scored just three points last week. Obviously, this is the lowest total for the year in Baltimore, and the Ravens were held by teens only twice during the season. Three points. It’s crazy.

Offensively, they have averaged 35 points per game since the beginning of November. Josh Allen made a lot of us look like fools. (In our defense: In the first and second year, a guy couldn’t get to a 5-foot line if his life depended on it. What has happened since then is just incredible).

Buffalo… …something is wrong.

With Kansas City… Okay, this may sound crazy, but I was expecting something special to make the defending champions look like world champions again. I waited a long time. That hasn’t happened yet.

Clearly, they were good enough to win 15 of the 17 games. Yes. It wasn’t very clear. If it makes sense. (Look, I told you this might sound stupid).

They beat Cleveland! – Cleveland! – by five points last week. Yeah, losing Patrick Mahomes to a restraining order didn’t help. But there were only nine when Mahomes was injured. A team with that kind of firepower, at home against CLEVELAND, should be better.

And that’s kind of the story with the chefs this year. A three-point win over the Falcons! – in week 16. A three-point win in New Orleans. Beat the dolphins by five points. Broncos at 6:00. Dollars at the door. Raiders at four o’clock. Carolina for two.

They were good enough to win, but not much better. At some point, a hungry, opportunistic football team will show up to make them pay.

And – I can’t believe I’m doing this – I’m voting on bills to do this.



Accounts 27, Heads 24

Oh, wow. It’s not good. Not at all.

Last week: 3-1
Post-season : 6-3-1
Regular Season : 126-126-4

To learn more about Michael Hurley, click here. You can find him on Twitter at @michaelFhurley.

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