City of Hope: How Buffalo Bills Fans Remain Faithful Week In and Week Out

Immer ChriswellCorrespondent INovember 29, 2010

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 07:  Chan Gailey, head coach of the Buffalo Bills talks to Steve Johnson #13  on the sidelines against the Chicago Bears at Rogers Centre on November 7, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Chicago won 22-19.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Make whatever pokes you want at the 2-9 Buffalo Bills. You can point out their run defense is atrocious and that they have no superstar players. However, there is no denying that with only two wins, the Buffalo Bills could very well have seven wins right now.

After the end of last year's campaign, not many believed Trent Edwards would stand a chance to be the starter in Buffalo. However, with new coach Chan Gailey, he entered training camp with the starting position. Gailey even said he could see "light at the end of the tunnel" for the Bills with Edwards as his starter. However, as last season went, Edwards flopped.

The first game of the season against the Miami Dolphins, Edwards threw for 149 yards, and Fred Jackson led the team in rushing with 19 yards. The Bills lost 15-10. The next week, Edwards threw for 102 yards against Green Bay. The Bills lost, 34-7.

This was the final game the Buffalo Bills played with Trent Edwards as their starting quarterback.

His replacement, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who carried a 3.2 GPA at Harvard, was doubted by many. There seems to be a general disbelief that a football player out of Harvard, especially a quarterback, would have talent.

However, Fitzpatrick threw for 247 yards in his first game against the New England Patriots, nearly leading the team to a victory, but the Patriots overwhelmed the Bills in the second half and won, 38-30.

So how do Bills fans remain faithful this season? Look at the positives. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown for over 300 yards twice, and hit 299 another time. He is the first Bills quarterback to eclipse 300 since J.P. Losman quarterbacked the Bills.

If you think about it, the Bills should have won their first game. If Ryan Fitzpatrick were the starter, the Bills would have beaten the Dolphins because he is willing to put the ball up despite the risks.

The Green Bay game probably would not have resulted in a win under Fitz, but the game would not have been the demoralizing scenario it turned into. The New England game quite possibly could have changed if the Bills had Fitzpatrick as the starting QB from the start.

Then, after two relatively disappointing efforts from the Bills against the Jets and the Jaguars, the Bills nearly stunned the NFL by taking the Baltimore Ravens to overtime. Had Shaun Nelson held onto the ball in overtime, the Bills would have been within spitting distance of Ryan Lindell's field goal range. Instead, the Ravens went down the field and made a field goal that gave them a 37-34 victory.

The following week, the Bills kept the drama as they attempted to secure their first win of the season. They made the field goal for the win, but the worst non-rule in the NFL came in to effect: Icing the kicker.

Ryan Lindell was forced to kick the 51-yard field goal again, and as it would be, the second try would clang off the uprights, and the Chiefs would secure victory, 13-10.

If the Buffalo area thought that three weeks straight of overtime in football was impossible, well they were right. Instead of losing by a field goal in overtime, the Bills lost by three points in regulation.

They did not lose by a field goal. That would require a field goal being made. The Bills lost 22-19 because for the first time ever in Ryan Lindell's kicking career, one of his extra point attempts was blocked. The line allowed the Chicago Bears to penetrate through enough to get a hand on the ball.

If the Bills would have made that field goal, they would not have had to go for two points on their next touchdown, and the Bears would not have gone for two with their ensuing touchdown. A touchdown plus an extra point equals a brand new ball game.

However, with the Buffalo area on high alert for another disappointing loss, the Bills pulled out their first win against the Detroit Lions, 14-12. They even followed a not-so-convincing win with a comeback rout of the Cincinnati Bengals, 49-31. The Bills scored five unanswered touchdowns to make the three-score comeback a blowout.

That brings us to yesterday, where the Bills had the game-winning ball in Steve Johnson's hands, in the end zone, in overtime. Then the laws of physics kicked in, and since there was nothing to hold the ball up, the ball dropped through the wide-open Johnson's hands. 

The Buffalo Bills have the worst run defense in the NFL. They have been beat up on by many for their 2-9 record this year. But Bills fans remain faithful. Why?

Because it's a pretty scary thought when the 25th overall defense in the NFL could very well have a playoff-bound record if not for a few bounces. And that is what Bills fans accept, and use to keep cheering. The Bills fans are true football fans, they're in it no matter the ups, or of course, the downs. Where else would you see a full stadium in freezing conditions, when your team has only two wins? No where.