When Will the Buffalo Bills Get Some Respect?

Aaron McKinneyCorrespondent IIIOctober 10, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 2:   Scott Chandler #84 of the Buffalo Bills takes the field prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on October 2, 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Well, this Buffalo Bills team piqued everybody's interest two weeks ago when they vanquished the mighty Patriots. They quickly followed with the stereotypical letdown against a less-than-stellar Bengals team. Now that they have toppled the overrated Eagle's "Dream Team", where do they go from here?

The next step is a very inconsistent Giants team that laid an egg against a very poor Seattle Seahawks team. After that they face the Redskins (who aren't trustworthy yet), followed by the Jets (who can't get out of their own way), and the enigmatic Cowboys.

How long will it be before we can get a real feel for whether this team is for real or not? Can we just accept that maybe there's more here than we thought? Even today, every article about yesterday's game focuses on the ineptitude of the Eagles rather than how solid the Bills played.

I think we can all agree now, this team is at least a .500 team. Next week's game could be rather important and ease some of the pressure.

Lets say they manage to take down the Giants. That puts their record at 5-1 going into the bye week. They have three games against non-playoff teams from Week 8 on with those games consisting of two against the Dolphins, who suddenly look like a possible 0-16 team, and one against the Broncos

Who thought this team would be a legitimate threat for 10-12 wins? I didn't. I can't believe their coaching staff or front office realistically did either. If they win those games I mentioned, the Giants, Broncos, and Dolphins twice, you gotta figure Chan Gailey can pluck two or three more victories out of there. 

With the lackluster play we've seen out of the Jets so far, I expect to get a split from them. The Redskins at home would be another one to shoot for.

I'm starting to think they're a very good team, but I don't think they're better than the Patriots, and the Bills are having a Lambeau Field-like home advantage right now.

Tennessee also seemed to have been exposed by the Steelers this week and Buffalo can probably take them as well. That gives them 11 wins right there. 

Now one must remember, the Patriots have almost the same schedule as Buffalo does, so they'll get to play the Dolphins and have already beaten the Jets. Their next six games are no picnic as they play Dallas, Pittsburgh, the Jets, the Giants, Kansas City, and Philadelphia.

A few weeks ago we would've considered the Chiefs a breather, but they seem to be adjusting to life without Jamal Charles a little better.

The toughest match-ups of that list, Pittsburgh, the Jets, and Philadelphia, are all away games. I wouldn't find it strange at all if the Bills and Patriots were tied at 11-4 going into that final showdown at Foxboro. 

The defense wasn't stellar this week, but the Eagles presented the most explosive offense the Bills will face until they travel to San Diego in Week 14.

The Cowboys have weapons, but they also have Tony Romo, who is bound to make a mistake or two. The Redskins' Rex Grossman will probably also give up something. Tennessee goes as far as CJ2K will take them and the Jets are having all sorts of issues. Buffalo will have plenty of time to try and fix defensive problems. 

These guys have to stay the course and continue to do what they're doing. Even before they lost to Cincinnati, they weren't going 16-0. I will start to buy their stock, though. I'm just sayin', these guys are getting better, they're getting more motivated every week, and they have a legitimate shot to challenge the Patriots for the AFC East.