Why this Sunday is the biggest game of the year for the Buffalo Bills…
As we all know the Buffalo Bills are currently on a 15 game slide verses the New England Patriots. September 7th, 2003 was the last time the Bills were victorious. This Sunday, the 25th of September, is easily the biggest game of the 2011-2012 season for the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are currently 2-0 and a lot of hype is building around this team. This is the week to end this dreaded streak, this is the week that we show the league that the Buffalo Bills are for real, and this is the week that could vault the Bills into the playoffs after 10+ seasons without playoff football. Ok, I could be getting away with myself there but a 3-0 start that includes a victory against the Patriots could install a lot of confidence into this team of journeymen, late round picks, and undrafted players.
First off this game is important because if the Bills want to turn the franchise around they must establish home field advantage. In the last 3 years the Bills are 8-16 at home. You could take away 3 of those losses if you don’t want to count games in Toronto as home, but 8-13 is nothing to be proud of or anything to scare other opponents away. Yes us fans are considered some of the best in the NFL but if your team is not producing at home the fans can only help a team for so long in a game. This season the Bills are 1-0 at home so far, shocking the whole stadium by coming back from down 18 at half to beat the Raiders. So by beating the Patriots at home this Sunday we are making a statement that we are a new team, especially at home.
I hear a lot of fans saying that even if we play a close game with the Patriots and compete but lose, that fans will still be happy. No, this is not true. Last year the Bills played in plenty of close games. Seven games the Bills were within one score of winning, three of those games went into overtime. Another game the Bills were within two scores of winning. So half of the Bills season the Bills were within two scores of winning, I am sure everybody has had enough of that. Even with the Patriots the Bills have played in close games the last three years. Yeah in the last three years we have been outscored 147-77 by the Patriots but three of the games were within one score, two were within two scores, and only one game was a blowout. So tell me what playing a close game with the Patriots does for us? Absolutely nothing. It brings us back to last year, this year there is a new feeling around the franchise. We have to walk out of Ralph Wilson Stadium victorious on Sunday afternoon. We are ahead of the Patriots in PPG, but Tom Brady is putting up amazing numbers through the air and we all know their offense can score at will. The Bills have an advantage here though, their rushing game. The Bills have the best rushing offense in the NFL and need to use that against the Patriots to keep Brady on the sidelines. The Bills secondary is also 13th in the league compared to New England’s which is 31st in the league.
2008 is the last time the Bills started off 2-0 and we finished the year 7-9. Nobody in Buffalo wants that again. We want the playoffs and we want at least one victory over the New England Patriots. Let’s be real here, the Bills play in the AFC East, chances of winning the division are pretty low but three teams can make the playoffs from one division. We need at least 10 wins and that might not even do it for us. We need to get more wins in the division, especially against the Patriots and Jets. Even if we split the series against the Patriots, beat the Jets at least once (which we could easily do because of our run defense and the Jets declining rushing attack, but that’s a whole different article) and sweep the Dolphins, that’s already four wins and two losses, plus our already 2-0 record making us 6-2 if we could find some success in the AFC East.
I could go on here and argue against people’s argument that the Bills only beat the Chiefs and the Raiders and the Patriots beat the Dolphins and Chargers, but it’s the NFL, it is hard to win any game on any Sunday. Both teams are 2-0 and deserve to be. So by beating the Patriots this Sunday we are reclaiming home field advantage, gaining some respect in the AFC East, ending a 15 game losing streak to one specific team, and starting a serious turn-around/ push to the playoffs. Let’s go Bills!