AFC East

Buffalo Bills: Do We Dare?

Buffalo Bills: Do We Dare?
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That is the question. Do we dare start to believe that the Bills are for real? I don’t, not yet, but the next three games will tell us a lot about this Bills team.
 
Now, looking back at this four game winning streak, capped by the destruction of the 49ers on Sunday, the Bills have shown a lot of what we fans expected to see in 2015. Smothering, aggressive defense combined with a dynamic rushing attack complemented by a passing game that does just enough without taking risks. But we need to keep in mind that this streak was over two middling NFC West teams, a Brady-less Patriots (that we still shut out on the road, HEYOOOOOO), and what might be the worst team in the NFL. With that in mind, let’s look at the next three games on the schedule before the bye, what might end up being the most important stretch of the year.
 
First up, Miami in their refurbished mausoleum of a stadium. Miami just pulled off the upset of the week, maybe the year, against a red hot Steelers offense by taking the game out of Ryan Tannehill’s hands and putting it on the ground. However, doing so cost them their best defender, Reshad Jones, and let’s face it, this team still isn’t very good. They give up gobs of yards on the ground and the Bills have a top three running back and run blocking offensive line. If the Dolphins try to stack the box against McCoy, then they’re leaving Flash Goodwin and Justin Hunter on the outside in single coverage for a QB with one of the best deep balls in the league. Defensively, the Bills are running on full throttle, piling up sacks and big plays left, right, and center. This game has all the makings of a brutal beating delivered by the Bills to the Dolphins… on paper. This is also the kind of game the Bills are known to stumble on, but to be fair, so were the last two games and Rex Ryan has managed to keep the team focused on the task at hand. Whether he can continue to do so with possibly the game of the year on the horizon remains to be seen.
 
Which brings me to the second game, a showdown in Buffalo against the real New England Bradys. The Patriots have already dropped one game to Buffalo and you know Brady cannot stand the thought of that. He has been playing lights out since his return, but let’s face it… the Browns and Bengals are not the finest examples of defense in the NFL. And now he will get the chance to shred a suspect Steelers defense while his own defense gets to feast upon Landry Jones’ inevitable mistakes with Big Ben out due to the instilling of Stompy McSuhsworth’s culture of dirty plays in Miami. So the Bradys will be flying high at 6-1, most likely, when they arrive in Buffalo to face the should-be 5-2 Bills. If that is the case, this could legitimately be one of the most important games of the year and quite possible the most important game of the decade, maybe century thus far, for the Bills. As a fan, I truly hope that both teams win in Week 7 so we can see this match up in all it’s potential glory. On paper, this could be a great matchup, the Bills talented front seven against the Patriots patchwork offensive line (and Brady’s trademark quick release) and the Patriots struggling defense against the Bills awesome rushing attack.
 
The third game before the bye is another big one, one of the very few prime time games the Bills get to enjoy and it’s a road trip to Seattle. Ouch. Whether the Bills win or lose the previous week, this is another huge game for them. Win or lose in Week 8, this game will be a chance to make another statement against a Super Bowl contender from the NFC and to do so on the road this time, in possible the most hostile environment in the NFL. It’s another match up that favors the Bills in that the Seahawks offensive line is pretty terrible and the Bills have been extremely effective at getting to the passer so far this year. But we have a problem containing mobile quarterbacks (though Wilson might be a little easier to bring down than Kaepernick, eh Hughes?) and Wilson has proven to be an extremely effective passer on the run. It should be interesting to see if the Bills can contain him.
 
Anyway, the next few weeks should be intriguing, at least, and if the Bills can manage to come away from these three games 6-3 or even 5-4, it’s a far cry from the 2-7 that I felt would most likely be their record at their bye week.

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