When head Sean McDermott came in and traded down in the 2017 NFL Draft to acquire a pick next year, it was the first sign the Buffalo Bills may have had an inclination they weren’t going to be good in 2017 and were planning for the future. Then they fired general manager Doug Whaley and brought in Brandon Beane who made some big, bold moves. None of that was as unexpected as the team’s hot start.
Beane traded away two of Buffalo’s best players, Ronald Darby and Sammy Watkins, for arguably less-skilled players and very good draft picks. It was clear that the teams they were doing business with, sat E.J. Gaines and Jordan Matthews as downgrades.
To top off all the offseason tumult, Buffalo signed Anquan Boldin during the preseason before he presumably saw the writing on the wall and abruptly retired. Expectations for this team entering the season were low.
Then the team beat the New York Jets to start the season 1-0. But that wasn’t unexpected. The Jets were in a worse tank mode than the Bills, after all. Following a close loss to the Carolina Panthers, Buffalo beat the Denver Broncos and fans were excited. The 2016 Denver Broncos were pretty good, you see. A win over the 2016 NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons IN THEIR NEW ARENA set fans over the edge at 3-1.
Buffalo followed that up with a letdown against the Cincinnati Bengals but went into their bye week with a winning record, something most people didn’t think would happen.
Back-to-back wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders had us humming at 5-2. No one expected that.
While the Bills have come back to Earth more recently, sitting currently at 6-5, the fact that they are even in the playoff discussion is most unexpected. If they can knock off the New England Patriots at home this Sunday, that would probably take the cake. But for now, the most unexpected thing about the Bills this season is that hot start which shook everyone’s season expectations to the core.