I previously wrote the 10 worst moments of the decade, and after the Patriots loss I was going to go on and write the 100 worst of the decade. The Pats loss shockingly would not make the top 10 most painful moments, which I hope gives an idea to fans of other teams how bad the decade has been.
The idea was to write all of the bad things as a séance, to get them out in the air and clear the soul, but just writing the list brought back too many bad memories. As Bills fans, we are addicted to the negative, because we expect it as this point like a junkie expects his next fix.
Most Bills fans knew the Bills were going to blow the 24-13 lead and lose. That’s no way to be a fan of a sport that should be an escape. I’m going to go in a different direction for this article and write the positives and try to change my view of Bills games.
1. New England had to make an 11 point comeback
The last time I checked before the game, New England was an 11 point favorite. At home, with Brady returning, the Patriots almost pulled an absolute choke in their season opener. Everyone picked the Patriots to win the division, and after week 1, that prediction looks a bit scary.
Good teams sometimes get lucky, and New England is good, but they aren’t that good. The running game fell apart, Brady threw 53 times, and that new defense appeared very shaky. If Brady has to throw a lot every game, he will eventually get hurt. Jerrod Mayo got injured, and New England has plenty of depth issues on defense, and offense.
Their new acquisitions in Fred Taylor and Joey Galloway looked old, and the Bills gave the footprint on how to stop the Patriots from scoring, before the Bills fell apart. The AFC East is a lot more open than it appeared before the season.
2. The Bills have the running back for the no-huddle
Discussions of the no-huddle made people laugh because when the Bills did it in the 90’s, they had the weapons. This Bills team looks to have very good receivers but questions everywhere else.
After last night, Fred Jackson looks perfect for the no-huddle. He catches the ball very well out of the backfield and he hits holes and always moves forward, and can run the ball out of the shotgun.
He has a style similar to Thurman Thomas, which is what is absolutely needed for this offense to succeed. Lynch can be a change-up, but Jackson fits perfectly as the feature back.
3. The Bills secondary looked pretty good
Yes Brady completed 39 passes and Moss and Welker both had 12 catches, but for the most part the secondary did exactly what they wanted to do. The secondary allowed few big plays, executed very good tackling, and provided great run support.
McKelvin had a terrible game and had a big missed tackle on Kevin Faulk on New England’s first TD drive. The two late touchdowns are because Keith Ellison still struggles in coverage.
With a pass happy team like the Pats, the Bills corners and safeties kept the action in front of them. If the front 7 does a bit more in future games, the defense can definitely compete against a good amount of NFL offenses.
4. No more Monday night games this year
Only one Thursday night game on the NFL Network, and no more ESPN games. The pain of a close Monday Night Football game will not happen for the rest of this season. Get the pain out of the way.
5. They are not the worst team in football
Going into week 1, the fear existed that the Bills may be one of the worst teams in the NFL. They didn’t look like it against the Pats. The Bengals, Browns, Broncos, Texans, Lions, Cardinals, Rams, Bucs and Panthers all looked worse in week 1.
With all of the turmoil of the last 2 weeks with cuts and Schonert’s firing, that’s a pretty positive note for this point in the season.
6. Edwards looked comfortable
The Patriots have defensive flaws, but still have always given the Bills fits. Edwards looked very composed in an offense that has been in flux and was terrible in the preseason.
He made the plays necessary to win the game, the Bills special teams and defense let him down. He also was playing better as the game went along. The Bills need very quarterback play to compete, and at least he looks like he can achieve that level.
7. The schedule is pretty nice
Division games at Miami and New York will be tough, but at least the Bills showed they can compete with the big dog in the division. New Orleans looks to be an offensive powerhouse but their defense is still questionable.
The rest of the first half of the schedule is Tampa, Cleveland, Houston and at Carolina. I know the Bills find ways to lose games they should win, but some of these teams are also very talented at losing. There are some wins in this mix.
8. Seven more games with the old jerseys
I don’t think many Bills fans would mind if the throwback AFL jerseys became permanent. We get half of the season with them this year, which should make any Bills fan clamoring for the destruction of the CFL style junk thrilled.
One of the biggest fears of Bills fans is that the team is eventually going to move to Toronto, or somewhere else. With the problems around the NFL in terms of selling out games, the Bills aren’t No. 1 on the list to move anymore.
Jacksonville is in deep trouble, San Diego isn’t far behind, and the viability of St Louis and other franchises which will probably have 4, 5 or 6 blackouts make Buffalo and their sold out stadium an asset.
No matter what Jerry Jones may think the league to be successful needs as many fiscally successful teams as possible. Once Ralph Wilson dies, someone will buy the team, look for a new market and a handout for a publicly financed stadium, and will get few if any offers. Blackouts are the Bills best friend.
10. Weird History
The Patriots game felt like Friday the 13th Part VI. A horror movie where the ending is basically known. An interesting tidbit though about the Bills under Jauron. Not always, but a lot of times after painful losses, they win the next week.
The Cleveland MNF loss and the JP Losman fumble game last year, the Dallas MNF two years ago, and the road losses to Miami and Indy in 2006, all led to wins the next win.
With Tampa coming into town this week, they look beatable. 1-1 wouldn't be so bad and would be tied for second in the division. It's going to take awhile to bred positivity as a Bills fan. I'm taking baby steps now.