I have seen the optimism overflow here on Rumblings after yesterdays trouncing of the Chiefs. I am not going to say that it is without good reason, that was as dominant of a win that the Bills have had in a long, long time. I will say however that there are two things this Bills team needs to do before I join in the optimism parade.
1st ) This team needs to beat the Raiders. This is the ultimate trap game. The Bills are coming off a big win on the road and have the Patriots after. It would be very easy to look past Oakland. If the Bills get beat it will be a big sign that this team still lacks the maturity that good teams have to avoid these type of "traps." So step one; Avoid the trap and beat the Raiders. Lets not forget that the Raiders swept the AFC West last year. I know that is still the worst division in the NFL, but that means they still are a capable team. This team is not to be taken lightly and certainly cannot to be overlooked by the Bills. They haven't even come close to earning the right to look past anybody yet, especially a team that finished with more wins then them last year.
2nd ) Hold your own with the Patriots. I am willing to remain optimistic even after a loss to the Pats, but they would have to be competitive. If the Bills get blown out 45 - 10 like they have in the past it will be a huge sign that the Bills simply aren't ready to compete with the big boys of the NFL yet. A close hard fought game that results in a loss will still give me hope for the outcome of the season. The Bills cannot get swept by the Pats however. If this team is going to be playoff bound and take the step forward that we all want to believe that they have then they need to beat the Pats at least once this year. They don't have to do it in week 3, but they need to at least show they can hang with the big boys.