Buffalo Bills Look to Assert Themsleves as Contenders Against the Patriots

Aaron McKinneyCorrespondent IIISeptember 22, 2011

Fred Jackson will need to shine
Fred Jackson will need to shineRick Stewart/Getty Images

So, the Buffalo Bills are 2-0.

When was the last time they were 2-0? That's a tough question. It really wasn't that long ago, in 2008. It's hard to remember, because the finished 7-9 following a 5-1 start by going 2-8. We don't have to look back too far to realize we shouldn't get too excited just yet.

The Bills have defeated the Chiefs and the Raiders. The Chiefs are in absolute disarray and seem to be the front runner for Andrew Luck. The Raiders, although decidedly better last year and probably this year as well, are still the Raiders. We'll find out where this team is on Sunday against the Patriots, who are scoring points like its Tecmo Bowl. 

Somehow, Gailey, a coach who has been a failure at every stop as a head coach, seems to be putting the pieces together. And for the most part, he's doing it with many players nobody wanted. Start with the quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick is on his third team and had never been named a starter until this year. Fred Jackson didn't play in the NFL until he was four years removed from tiny Coe College. Steve Johnson is a wide receiver, who wasn't chosen until the final round of the draft.

Aside from Eric Wood, their offensive line is a smattering of late-round and undrafted players. They picked up Shawne Merriman on the waiver wire. They also have a few players who were highly-touted draft choices in CJ Spiller and Marcel Dareus.

Does this team have what it takes only a year removed from a putrid 4-12 record? We will soon find out. These aren't the 16-0 Patriots, but if Buffalo wants to keep pace, they'll have to score just as much as they did in the previous two games combined. The good news is that the Patriots defense is young, inexperienced and somewhat banged-up. Just look what a rather anemic Dolphins offense put up two weeks ago. 

If Buffalo runs the ball early and can stop the Patriots a few times, they should be able to keep this game close. The Patriots won't fall apart like the Raiders did late in the game last week. We could be looking at one of the best games of the week. Maybe Buffalo can take a big step towards some more respect.