WEST PITTSTON, PA – Well, that was fun.
So the Buffalo Bills haven’t made the playoffs since I was seven. The year was 1999.
But the last three weeks take the cake. It’s not even close. The Bills have been outscored 135-55. Yeesh.
It all started Week 9 and Buffalo was sitting at 5-2 heading into a Thursday night matchup with the New York Jets.
Sure, it was on the road and on short rest, but the Bills were red-hot at the time and favored to win. Then they fell apart and couldn’t move the ball en route to a 34-21 defeat by the freaking Jets. You know, that team who just lost to a Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, who was playing without their best player in star wideout Mike Evans.
I thought that might have been rock bottom, but oh no, it doesn’t stop there.
Fast forward to two weekends ago. Hosting a red-hot New Orleans Saints team. A game I was at.
That was just a pathetic effort. Falling 47-10, and that touchdown didn’t come late until mop-up duty with Nathan Peterman in at quarterback. It was so bad that New Orleans never punted.
Alright, so then comes this past Wednesday.
After announcing that Tyrod Taylor was still the team’s starting quarterback both after the loss to the Saints and then the following Monday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott makes a quarterback change on Wednesday. He was benching Taylor for Peterman.
Was I surprised? Yes. Shocked? Not completely.
Taylor is what he is.
He has his limitations and more often than not, he’s not going to be the guy to win the game for you. At the same time, he often isn’t the reason his team loses either.
The offense was sputtering. Badly. Maybe Peterman would provide a spark?
Woooo boy did that not happen.
Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half and was benched at the break.
Now, I don’t blame Peterman for his first pick – a well-thrown ball to Patrick DiMarco that was tipped – and he was hit as he threw on a couple others, but there were some bad throws and it got to a point that Peterman should have just held the ball instead of trying to make something out of nothing.
So Taylor comes in and it’s 40-7 before he even touched the ball. Buffalo goes on to lose 54-24. He actually played well albeit against a vanilla defense and in a blowout. It is what it is.
So now what?
Here’s the thing, the Bills aren’t out of the playoff hunt by any means.
This team is 5-5 and tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the second wild card. There’s only seven teams with at least a .500 record, and Buffalo is one of them. Six make the playoffs.
Do the Bills still have two games left against the New England Patriots? You bet.
But they still face the Miami Dolphins twice, the Indianapolis Colts and a Kansas City Chiefs team that just lost to the New York Giants.
It took me a really long time to buy in to this season. And maybe there’s a reason for that. Actually, it’s probably because deep down I knew the Bills were overperforming the first seven weeks and something like this was bound to happen. That’s OK though.
This season was about trusting the process. Most Bills fans’ expectations weren’t high going into the season – myself included.
But hey, while this ship is sinking, they’re still in the playoff hunt and a win in Kansas City would turn things around.
The question is… Who starts at quarterback? I don’t know. But whatever McDermott decides will tell you what the team values more: This season or the future.
One thing is almost certain… Buffalo’s 2018 starting quarterback isn’t on the roster yet.