One win rights the ship for Edwards, Bills (buffalobills.com)
I'll admit it. I've been a little negative this week. Not that the Buffalo Bills didn't deserve my negativity, of course - three losses in four tries will engender that response. After a 4-0 start, the Bills are now 5-3 and face the daunting task of a must-win game in Foxboro.
During the down period for the Bills, several team weaknesses have appeared - a porous offensive line; a non-existent run game; the lack of a consistent pass rush defensively; the inability to shut down opponents' controlled passing attacks; turnovers, turnovers and more turnovers. It's been bad. But unlike seasons past, there's still opportunity for these Bills.
The Miami Blueprint
Think back to Week 3 of this season. At that point, the 0-2 Miami Dolphins were visiting the 2-0 Patriots. Miami lost a tough opener to the New York Jets, then went out to Arizona and got embarrassed on the road (something the Bills and their fans should be familiar with). The Patriots, meanwhile, had survived the season-ending knee injury to Tom Brady by beating the Chiefs in their opener, and had gone into New York and taken down the Mighty Favre behind the play of Matt Cassel. Things were not looking bright for Miami, that's for sure.
Then Miami pounded New England 38-13. I remember, as I sitting in Ralph Wilson Stadium watching the Bills come back to beat the Raiders, seeing the final score and thinking one thought: "Where the hell did that come from?" The Bills a lot of things; that includes being capable of that type of performance.
The question I ask of you this morning is this: is it so crazy to believe the Bills can't pull off a similar feat?
Giving yourself a chance
How did Miami beat New England that day? Obviously, "The Wildcat" didn't hurt, but I'd rather believe that it was the fact that Miami didn't shoot themselves in the foot. They didn't turn the ball over offensively. They forced two turnovers themselves (an interception and lost fumble by Cassel), sacked Cassel five times (four by Joey Porter), and watched as the Patriots effectively beat themselves.
That's something Buffalo has excelled at these past two weeks. I wrote earlier this week that the Bills are beating themselves - and it's true. Without the seven turnovers, seven sacks, safety allowed and 14 penalties the team has accrued against the Dolphins and Jets collectively, the Bills have far more than a fighting chance in both of those games, despite their weak areas. Beating New England in New England is achievable - as long as the Bills don't beat themselves first. New England rarely beats themselves; the Bills can't, either, or an opportunity is lost.
Opportunity, however, is exactly what this game is all about for Buffalo. Despite the fact that the team has reverted to some old ways of late, the team is still very much in the thick of things in a suddenly ultra-competitive division. The Bills have stumbled, but they've still got an opportunity to grab this division by its proverbial cojones and waltz into the playoffs. Beating New England in Foxboro is more possible than many realize. Opportunity is knocking, Buffalo. One win rights the ship.