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I know that no one should hope for a loss but sometimes a loss can actually assist in the grand scheme of things. Let me explain.
First off, if Buffalo pulls off the unimaginable and beat the Pats in Gillette Stadium in December!!; then I think Buffalo would have been harmed in the long run. If Lewis has a great win against Brady then the whole offseason would have been mired in discussions on why he should be the number #1 QB over EJ. That would have done nothing but hurt EJ's confidence and development. We all know that Lewis is not the #1 QB of the future ( a solid #2 though) and his win over of the Pats would have brought a new distraction to the offseason and EJ's psyche. This would have pushed Buffalo back another season on trying to find the right quarterback. Run with EJ next season and if it doesn't work out then you draft Winston. Win, win situation.
Second, just imagine that the Bills defense plays lights out and shuts down the Pats' offense in their own stadium with home field implications on the line? I think that Pettine would have been a head coach somewhere next season filling in one of the handful of HC vacancies.
Third, the Bills' D was putrid but they were missing their two best safeties the whole game and their Pro Bowl calibur DT (Dareus) for the whole first half. Still, they should have stepped up. Maybe Dareus getting benched for the whole half helped his future. After the game, it was reported that he apologized to the team for letting them down by not being able to play in the first half because of tardiness again. His benching was commented on by K. Williams as an example of accountability and Marrone's expectations of potential and current leaders. This benching will shock Dareus' butt into being more of a leader I believe.
Next, a loss is a loss. No need to divulge too much into a game and play the what-if game. However, the teams of the past would have just allowed the deficit to get worse after halftime. When they appeared dead in the water they came back and fought hard. Getting within a TD three different times after giving up a scoring drive, before the Pats' offensive superiority finally putting a nail in the coffin. They made me proud to see them respond competitively in the second half.
Finally, the Orangemen's first season under Marrone was 4-8. He required accountability with his team just like Marrone has stressed all season and players not buying into it were gone or benched. K. Williams' and Jackson's comments after the game mirror that sentiment. We will see a better team next season. Also, this was the first year of the new regime's offensive and defensive schematics. They will get better next season as they get more comfortable. Another thing before I go: I am excited to see the offense play up-tempo with a healthy QB and not this slowed down to accomodate a injured rookie QB or a two-three banged up, back-up quarterbacks. The team will get better. Rome wasn't built in a day.