A Tale Of Two Months – A Bills Disapointment
A few weeks ago you may remember I wrote an article predicting each remaining week of the Bills' season. I thought they would be 8-3 by now; boy, was I wrong. The season that could have been.
Think back to last month at this time, November 2nd. The Bills had just defeated the Washington Redskins and were flying high on route to a 5-2 record. The playoffs were inevitable, Fred Jackson was going to win the MVP, and Fitzpatrick was the best thing since Jim Kelly. After four straight losses, the world has been flipped upside down. The playoffs are out of reach, Jackson is hurt for the year, and Fitzpatrick looks average again.
So what happened? The answer is surprisingly simple. The defense was never good, but a ridiculous amount of forced turnovers in the beginning of the season overshadowed their ineptitude. The turnovers have stopped, and so have the wins. Opponents defenses have began to catch up to the Bills' offense, and they are lacking the "clutch" factor that helped them win close games against the likes of Oakland and New England. Fred Jackson's injury does not help things, as the bulk of the pressure has now shifted to Fitzpatrick's shoulders.
With that being said, an 8-8 finish would be an accomplishment right now. To do that, the Bills would simply have to win their remaining home games against Tennessee, Miami, and Denver. To make the playoffs, they would surely have to win all of their remaining games and hope their competitors slip. The latter is very unlikely to happen and many of you know.
Even with the disappointment factor, the Bills have made progress this year. The offense has looked unstoppable at times and the defense has shown the ability to create turnovers. The attention now focuses to the offseason, where they'll look to resign Steve Johnson and add some depth in the free agent market. In the draft, they should look to boost their defense with defensive ends, cornerbacks, and linebackers. They should also snag a young quarterback who can take over reigns if Fitzpatrick continues to stumble (hello, Matt Barkley of USC).
The second half of the season has been a let down, but let's look at the positives. They finally beat New England, have looked competitive for the most part, and have won all but one home game. It's progress, giving us hope for the coming years. That's all we can ask for right now.