7/12/2008: A historic day for me. The day I moved behind enemy lines to establish myself in Boston, MA. It's been a long two years to be a Bills fan, especially when constantly hearing so much about the Patriots. So two years in Boston and one thing that sticks out to me is the quarterback struggles each team has had and how the fans have dealt with them.
Tom Brady and Trent Edwards are two completely incomparable quarterbacks who have headlined the show for these two divisional opponents and have squared off now twice in my two years in Boston, Tom Brady and the Patriots besting the Bills without a problem in both contests. Two more times it was Matt Cassel at the helm for the Pats who pounded the Bills and who gained himself quite a following. I almost don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many games it's been since the Bills last beat the Patriots (I'm pretty sure the last time was in 2003 behind Drew Bledsoe). From the reaction I saw in Boston to Tom Brady's injury two years ago you would've thought the man would never walk again, yet he put up the second best numbers in his career the year he came back and was still labeled a failure for not winning every game of the season (Oh, and he had a broken rib or two for some of that time).
Edwards, on the other hand, has suffered two minor concussions in that same time-frame and has put up numbers astronomical enough to earn him the nickname "Captain Checkdown", or "Checkwards" as he's more commonly called in Boston. At some points I think many Bills fans would've labeled Edwards a success if he were able to find a receiver past the line of scrimmage and could get him the ball before the defensive end could find a nice empty patch of turf beneath which to bury him.
Quite a juxtaposition to witness and I've heard both camps be equally as derisive toward their respective quaterbacks: one who lead his team to the division title, and the other who lead his to the completion of a decade-long playoff drought. To any Pats fan who sees this post, look at Brady's numbers from last year, compare them to Trent Edwards', the Bills' probable starter this coming season, and ask yourself who you'd rather have running the show. It doesn't take a genius to know you'd rather have Brady with his still stellar numbers winning double-digit games per year than Edwards, a QB who showed much promise in his first season in the NFL and is still struggling to regain the confidence he once had.
A year removed from Brady's rebound season, I think most Pats fans realize that they likely won't ever see any team have a perfect season again and that Brady did an amazing thing last season: he won games. Bills fans are still praying for Edwards' breakout year and are not too optimistic about there ever being one. Regardless, as it stands now these two teams are as evenly matched as they have been in my two years in Boston and I am still hoping to see that one upset all Bills fans have been waiting for. Here's one Bills fan who will be watching his 3rd NFL season in Boston and hoping to see a second drought end, one that is much more likely to end this season: the Bills' winless streak vs. the Pats. Who knows if it will happen this year, but I'll be yelling like a mofo when it does and cheering on those wagon-circlers as I always do.
Let's Go Buffalo