There's nowhere to go but up after a 45-3 loss.
That was, of course, followed by a 52-28 loss in a game they led at halftime. But that was before the Patriots scored 45 points in the second half.
When an NFL team gives up 52 points in a game, it's not always front-page news. It happens.
But what happens to a team that gives up 97 points in two games?
A phrase comes to mind: Shape up, or ship out!
Following the awful loss to the 49ers, the Bills will be staying in Arizona all week in lieu of coming back to Buffalo.
It's probably the best thing that can happen to the team.
When a defensive unit gives up 97 points in two games in the NFL, owners and coaches take extra notice. Jobs are at stake. There are players on the bench who are always ready and willing to step up. And the coaching staff might begin to look for replacements in the following year's draft.
There's only one way to fix this problem, and the Bills defense knows it. And after scoring just three points at San Francisco, the offense must step up as well.
Players from both sides weighed in on the week of preparation in Arizona.
"Right now I can confidently say now that we’re here all together as a team all week, guys aren’t going home to be with their families or going to do this and that,” said Bills linebacker Kelvin Sheppard. “We’re here together as a team all week and that’s going to add a lot to help us jell as a team for the situation that we’re going through.”
“I think this is a perfect week to get things fixed,” said Bills center Eric Wood, who was pushed and shoved around by the 49ers all day. “We’ve got an isolated setting. We don’t have a whole lot of distractions out here, and it’s time to get it straight.”
And that's exactly what the 49ers did after losing at Minnesota, as they stayed in Youngstown, Ohio after the loss to the Vikings and were ready to go to New York for their second straight road game, which they dominated.
This is a bit different, as the 49ers are a more powerful team, but the concept is the same.
But if one thinks the Bills will come out flat as a five-point underdog after a bad loss, recent history would dictate quite the contrary.
Last season, the Bills suffered consecutive losses at Dallas and Miami by scores of 44-7 and 35-8. Virtually written off the following week at the New York Jets as nine-point underdogs, they covered the spread and lost by just four points.
They almost won the game.
Trailing 28-24 with seconds remaining, Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass for Stevie Johnson was thrown behind him in the end zone in a game the Bills controlled, at least with time of possession (they held the ball for 36 minutes).
It's not the only time the Bills have bounced back.
In 2010, the Bills hung tough with the Patriots a week after a 34-7 loss at Green Bay. They lost the game by a touchdown but covered the 14-point spread. .
In 2009, the Bills lost at New Orleans by a score of 27-7 and again at Miami (38-10) in the next game, and after scoring just three points at home against the Browns in a three-point loss, they won their next game at the New York Jets as nine-point underdogs.
Later in 2009, the Bills lost at Tennessee by a score of 41-17, and they almost did it again. Heading to Jacksonville as eight-point underdogs, they lost by three points but covered the spread. A few games later, they lost 31-3 at Atlanta, but they won the next game at Indianapolis 30-7.
In 2008, the Bills lost 41-17 in what would end up being their worst loss of the season. The next game, they defeated San Diego straight up.
And let's not forget the early part of the season in 2007 when the Bills lost at Pittsburgh and New England by scores of 26-3 and 38-7 to open the season, only to win their next game against the Jets as four-point underdogs.
Arizona is a bit overrated at 4-1, and its offensive line is a mess. The defensive unit has been playing well thus far, but one must wonder how much gas the increasingly inept offense will have left against a Bills unit with a "do or die" attitude.
Coming off consecutive blowouts, the Bills have a week of isolation to pull it together, or some of their players might end up out of a job sooner than later or even broke, possibly ending up on another ESPN documentary someday about players who lost it all.
As an underdog against a winnable team, after two ugly losses and 97 points given up, look for Fitzpatrick and company to bounce back in the third chance.
Take Buffalo to cover five points