On September 30th at approximately 2:45pm the Buffalo Bills began a downhill slide that they have yet to recover from. It was at that point the New England Patriots rallied from a 21-7 deficit and flew by the Bills on way to a 52-28 victory. If the Bills had continued on to a victory in that day they would have been 3-1 and atop the AFC East, but that was the last time they were above the .500 mark and returning to that point is a steep climb.
The Bills were exposed in that loss to the Patriots and the Defense in particular showed a soft spot that most teams have exploited since. Against the Texans the “D” was improved, but of course as we know the offense lost their way to the endzone. Fred Jackson stated on his weekly show on WBBZ-TV that Sunday’s match-up with the Pats will be a shoot-out, but that may be wishful thinking.
A Bill Belichick team is especially difficult to defeat after coming off a bye week. Given that extra five days allows Belichick to review his own team’s weaknesses and exploit those of his upcoming opponent. The Bills have run into this bye-week buzz-saw before and it hasn’t been pretty.
The pressure is definitely on Bills Coach Chan Gailey and Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt. If they are embarrassed against New England again the crys for their jobs will increase ten-fold. Despite GM Buddy Nix giving Gailey a vote of confidence he knows that the front office needs something to rally fans around to sell season tickets during the summer. Should the Bills suffer through another 6-9 or 5-11 season it will be very difficult to generate enthusiasm, even with another glossy free agency signing.
Should the Bills pull the upset and the Patriots sleep walk through the game because of the off week, next Thursday night’s prime time game against the Dolphins will be rockin. One victory in New England could completely change the outlook for this team. The odds are steep, but one month ago I would have bet my pay check that the next President would be a Republican, how did that turn out?