The Bills Finally Did It


The Bills Finally Did It
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The Bills clinched a playoff berth after a solid win against the Miami Dolphins and Andy Dalton having the only clutch moment in his career.  They  have ended the longest active playoff drought after finishing 9-7 and will face the London Jaguars in the Wild Card round.
Before August many were expecting playoffs from the Bills. The defense mostly stayed intact with some upgrades and the offensive line was largely the same that had the 7th best offense in the NFL.  The defense was going back to the system they thrived in prior and the stench of Rex was gone. Then August happened and the Bills started the process of getting rid of players due to their association with Doug Whaley, starting with Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby and the month ending with the trade of Reggie Ragland at a position the Bills were thin at and the cutting of Jonathan Williams who was great in the preseason to have Mike Tolbert be the #2 RB.  It was a sign the Bills were planning to tank this year and by stockpiling picks, be in a prime position to do well for the longterm.
Then the season started and the Bills started to have early success, they had a key win against the Falcons and were dominating at home.  In hindsight the teams they played were great but at the time they were quality wins that gave the Bills solid momentum. The defense was playing great and the offense was doing just enough as it was clear Rick Dennison was leaps and bounds worse than Greg Roman and Anthony Lynn and Juan Castillo is significantly worse than Aaron Kromer as OL Coach.  The offense was not impressive but considering the lack of weapons and a blocking scheme that didn’t fit the personnel, they were still finding ways to win.
Then the questionable moves happened around the midpoint of the season right before a key game against the Jets. The Bills traded Marcell Dareus to the Jags for peanuts and a key part of the run defense was gone and it showed as the Bills became one of the worst run defenses in the NFL.  Then to top it all off, Sean McDermott makes the very questionable decision of benching Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan “J” Peterman against the Chargers a team the Bills were definitely going to be competing with for a wild card spot, and Peterman has one of the worst halves in football history and was the main reason we lost that game. Thankfully McDermott saw the light and went back to Tyrod.
Switching back seemed to set a spark to the team as they played well the remainder of the season winning 4 of their last 6 with the two losses being against the Patriots and the NFL Replay Officials in New York. The team played team football and even won a game in a middle of a blizzard. The defense played well, the offense had sparks of doing well but mostly played sound football which led them to the 6th seed.
Overall the Bills were surprise after the moves made in August where many thought they were tanking. If I had to guess a team to end the drought, I would have guessed the 2015-2016 teams as they were the most ready of the teams but I didn’t account for Rex and Rob destroying a defense. But this team was a different kind of Bills team in that it wasn’t as selfish as prior teams which is how it was able to stick together through the tough times and persevere. Now we go to the playoffs which you will see my article about later this week.


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