Every day i read more posts and more cries and more complaints about this football team. Fire Fitz! Fire Chan! Fire Nix! Fire Dave! But for all that you complain, you fail to look at the bigger picture. This team is right where it needs to be. They have put us in perfect position. Heres how I look at it:
1) We have bounced back. This is the second time this season that we have come off a complete disaster and shown what we should be. We came out vs A highly touted Arizona defense and moved the ball. Fitzpatrick wasnt accurate at times, but he threw 0 picks. He gained 153 yards passing and got the ball where it needed to be. After 6 weeks, hes still 3rd in the NFL in TD passes. Thats all I really ask of him. He came out and did his job, be a game manager. Thats when hes his best. Mario Williams and Jairus Byrd were criticized for their absence on the field, they showed up with 2 sacks and picks respectively. And the rushing attack that has suffered from injuries rolled over a supposedly strong D for 140 yards and a 5 ypc average. The team showed that they can do what they need to do and do it well. Its all about consistency moving forward.
2) The offense isnt as bad as it has looked. Dont get me wrong, they look bad at times. But in our 3 losses, Fitz averages 230 yards with 2 TDs and 2.5 INTs. While not great, thats not a panic mode kind of stat line. They managed 127 yards per game on the ground as well. And despite scoring just 3 points last week, we still sit at 12th in total points. Thats respectable. Chan Gailys offense is good, its just wasnt good enough to overcome a stretch of really bad defense.
3) The defense is there. We have shown in flashes the ability to pressure the QB, stop the run and defend the pass. Sometimes doing them exceptionally. The problem is consistency. I am a firm believer that the longer this unit plays together the more consistent they will become. And that is the only thing thats keeping them from breaking out.
4) The draft plan is working. I havnt been inside Buddy Nixs head, but his plan is to draft a team around Fitz and then put the QB of the future into that finished team. Hes drafted and signed a solid D line, Kelvin Shepphard is slowly forming into an excellent run stopping MLB(though he needs work against the pass) and Nick Barnett is a veteran presence, and hes drafted 2 young CBs that get better every week. On the other side, the O line(when healthy) showed that they can protect and block and the rushing game is solid enough to win. If you add in our starting WR, nickel WR in Nelson and pass catching TE in Chandler, the framework is all there. The plan will probably be to replace Fitz in the next 2 drafts. By then, the rest of the holes will be filled and the team will be set up to succeed for years. It was never going to be an overnight thing, Nix is building for the long haul, just like he did in SD.
5) If the season ended today, we would be a playoff team. You heard that right, a PLAYOFF TEAM! The AFC is so weak in the early goings that the AFC east is in a 4 way tie right now. After todays games the 2 AFC wild cards go to New England and Buffalo. The AFC is a weak conference right now with only 2 clear teams at the top. The other 4 spots are up for grabs. As of today, we beat out Pittsburgh, Denver and Cincinnati for playoff spots. And this brings me to my final point...
6) Schedule. The toughest stretch of the Bills schedule is nearly over. Next week we play a questionable Titans team followed by a bye. Then after a bye we play with a Houston team that showed a lot of weakness and a Patriots team that even Fitzpatrick put up 350 yards and 4 TDs on. While probably losses, either of those games just screams upset. Then 6 of our last 7 games are against opponents with records of 3-3 or worse. Those are all VERY winnable games for our team. At the same time the teams I mentioned above all have much less favorable schedules down the stretch. the hardest part of our season is over believe it or not. Ahead is a lot of games this team should win.
Thats why im not hitting the panic button. Making coaching or player changes now only sets us up for more failure this season. We are still in the thick of it. Let the team get focused and play. We are only 3-3, and thats right where we need to be right now.