Coming into this past weekend’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills appeared to be back on track.
After losing to the Tennessee Titans in a heartbreaker, they alternated wins and losses against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins before destroying the New York Jets.
The Jets win was their most convincing win since earlier this season, so all appeared well in Western New York. However, it did not stay that way.
On a cold and wet in Orchard Park, the Bills got punched in the mouth. A 41-15 loss headlined by a five-touchdown day from sudden MVP frontrunner Jonathan Taylor propelled the Colts to a signature win.
The loss for Buffalo was not caused by one facet of the game but rather everyone not playing their best. Two interceptions from Josh Allen, the defence, which was a top-ranked unit, getting gashed by Taylor and, to cap it off, kickoff returner Isaiah McKenzie literally tripping on the turf and fumbling the ball away.
Many people in the media were quick to jump all over the Bills.
It would appear that, according to the media, the Bills season is over, and they may not even make the playoffs. However, I believe that this is ridiculous.
Before I get into why the media is wrong, I’ll start with a paraphrase of the great Bill Parcells when he said that an NFL season does not start until after Thanksgiving. Guess what is coming up for Buffalo? A Thanksgiving game against the New Orleans Saints.
I offer a couple of retorts for all the people who say that the Bills are done and cannot win the division or even make the playoffs.
One, have they seen the NFL this season? No one looks dominant, and almost every single contender has had a terrible loss this season. The 7-3 Baltimore Ravens lost to the 3-7 Miami Dolphins. The 8-3 Titans lost to the 2-8 Houston Texans. Even the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the 4-6 Washington Football Team.
While the Bills have a loss to the terrible 2-8 Jacksonville Jaguars already on their record, the sense in the league is that parody is at an all-time high. No one has truly established themselves, and the AFC is so wide-open.
Shifting now to within the Bills division, the AFC East. Much was made about the New England Patriots passing Buffalo in the standings as they sit as current division leaders. But, if you only listen to the talk shows, you would think that the Patriots have an insurmountable lead over Buffalo. That is just not true.
The Patriots are 7-4 while the Bills are 6-4. That is not a massive mountain to scale. The Patriots have not even had their bye week yet, so they are tied if the Bills can win while New England is off. Also, Buffalo completely controls their own destiny for seeding. They have yet to play the Patriots this season, so if they can win those games, the Patriots are pushed back down the standings.
I understand the concern for many in Bills Mafia to be worried about Buffalo’s recent play. Still, this next stretch, particularly these next three games (@New Orleans, vs New England, @Tampa Bay), will be the most significant deterring factor for this team.
The old saying rings true, “adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it,” and right now, the Bills have plenty of adversity.