Who are you?

November 6, 2017

A few weeks back our Sal Capaccio wrote a piece here at the old town cryer titled ‘Opportunity knocks’. The point made was that the Bills, in what looks to be a down year in the AFC, had a chance to separate themselves a bit from most of the Wild Card contenders in the conference with the run of games culminating in this past Thursday’s game at the Jets.

Well the Bills got two of the three and are still in a playoff spot this morning despite dropping that prime time clunker on our heads and hearts.

It wasn’t difficult to get behind the idea of getting the Bills to fatten up to six wins, especially while feasting on the supposedly lowly Jets, as the rest of the teams battling hang out with four victories. Some separation would’ve been nice. A cushion and perhaps even the rarest of rarities. A spot on the left side of the screen when the networks dust off their NFL Playoffs In The Hunt graphics in a few weeks.

Well maybe the Bills will still have that coveted spot in a playoff position on those network graphics as opposed to being stuck over on the bottom right with all of the other .500 Records pretenders.

Maybe. But it gets harder now. New Orleans is next up at home this Sunday. All the Saints have done is win six straight after opening winless in their first two games of the season. They are fourth in point differential, which I mention because the biggest story with them over the past few years has been their problematic defense. Seems the Saints have figured out how to stop people while still getting high level quarterbacking out of Drew Brees. A stiff challenge.

Road games with the Chargers and Chiefs follow that and then it’s New England. If you want to get the Bills to 10 wins I think you need to split these four games. That leaves you with the Colts at home, a road rematch with the Patriots and your two Miami games.  Obviously if nine wins does the trick for the playoffs, and it might, this isn’t quite as daunting.

What really was lost this past Thursday in the loss at the Jets was the illusion that the Bills were somehow better, or maybe just less flawed, than the rest of the vast AFC middle class. They had a chance to elevate themselves, at least record wise, up to the top of the conference and create some separation amongst the Wild Card contenders.

That obviously did not happen and now they’ll have to slug it out. Living with a seventeen season playoff drought almost always means that Bills fans are going to have a tough time believing that this years model is any different than their predecessors. I don’t know that beating the Jets would’ve necessarily meant that the Bills were so much better than the rest of the AFC. But it would’ve given the Bills a record that would’ve been hard to miss the playoffs with.

Now I think Bills fans are perched in a spot where a home loss to a very good Saints team is going to bring about fears of a mid season slide like the one we experienced in 2011. The Bills were 5-2 in ‘11 and then they lost to the Jets and for what it’s worth, were physically manhandled in much the same way they were Thursday. That was the first of seven straight losses that season.

By the time the ‘In The Hunt’ season started the Bills were barely still on the screen.

What’s it going to be this years Bills? Are you different than those teams?

That’s a new opportunity knocking at the door.