Older AFCE

Older AFCE

Week One: Buffalo Bills Recap

Week One: Buffalo Bills Recap
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The long awaited start of the 2016 NFL season has arrived and the Buffalo Bills are back to classic 21st century form. That means that they are back to displaying a stunning level of ineptitude on the football field, after a brief rise to semi-relevance. In all seriousness, after the tremendous backslide in defensive quality between 2014 and 2015, combined with the loss of the first two draft picks from 2016, both of whom were expected to be serious contributors in Year 1, and the suspension of the best player on defense, Marcel Dareus, I expected the defense to be another disappointment. If you had told me last weekend that the Bills defense would hold the Ravens, who were returning Joe Flacco and Brashad Perriman from injury (among other additions), to a measly 13 points and 308 total yards, I would have guaranteed a Bills win. After all, this team returned every key player on offense, a top 12 scoring unit in 2015 averaging over 23 points a game, so putting up at least 14 against a suspect Ravens defense should be a piece of cake.
 
I was so very wrong.
 
The Bills managed an astounding two net yards from scrimmage in the entire first quarter and a similarly appalling 160 total yards for the game, a measly 65 of which came on the ground from the 2015 NFL rushing leaders. Were it not for one solid drive in the second quarter, featuring a Tyrod trademark magical scramble for time to find an open man, the totals would have been even more pathetic. As it was, that one good drive cost the Bills their best offensive lineman, Cordy Glenn, now out with an ankle injury for who knows how long.
 
On the plus side of the ledger, the defense was actually quite good, though not as good as the final score or stat line might show you. They managed to put a lot of pressure on the QB, surprisingly, but they can’t count on facing a rookie LT/LG tandem every week either. However, they did record 4 sacks, which puts them on pace for over triple their total from 2015. They also won the turnover battle, on paper, but that fluke fumble wasn’t their doing and the offense squandered the opportunity as well. Speaking of squandered opportunities, this game is a win if Darby and/or Gilmore haul in a couple INTs that could have gone back for six points, but they play CB instead of WR for a reason, I guess. I feel as though the Ravens cost themselves some opportunities with bonehead penalties (speaking of which, Darby, calm the F down) and that fumble, which might have skewed the game even more in their favor.
 
All in all, this game was one of the most depressing, pitiful, and painful experiences I’ve had since… well, last football season when the Bills lost to Jacksonville.
 
Now there is a quick turnaround for a Thursday night game, the home opener against the Jets. The Bills haven’t opened 0-2 since 2010, the Jets since 2007. One of them will likely break that streak on Thursday and, based on Sunday’s performances, my money is on the Bills being that team.
 
Prediction: Jets 16, Bills 0. Yes, really.

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