“I’m done apologizing for wins. We’re 6-2, this time last year we were 2-6.”
Contrast that with some of the discussion happening among the Bills’ fan base on social media or radio shows and you understand where Hyde’s sentiment comes from. Some Bills fans have shouted from the rooftops their reservations over how “good” the 2019 Bills team actually is considering how unusually kind their schedule has been.
Here’s my 2 cents: Get over it.
Bills fans who’ve spent any sort of time or energy trying to figure out and understand the 2019 team should now have enough information halfway through this season to know who they are. And the generous perspective would also realize that your fellow fans probably have a pretty good idea as well.
The 2019 Bills team is decent. They have heart. They’re well-coached as team. They have a strong culture that starts with their brain trust of head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane. They addressed many needs at WR, OL, and TE in both free agency and the draft to get significantly better in those areas this season.
The 2019 Bills are also vulnerable. Brian Daboll’s offensive scheme has struggled to find points that would put away games ready for the taking. Their second-year QB Josh Allen has simultaneously curtailed the boneheaded parts of his game AND his long-ball ability. The defense is talented but has well-known weaknesses. Their pass rush leaves much to be desired as does the run D.
Don’t misunderstand the situation; everyone knows these things. Well, at least everyone who has spent any effort trying to learn who this team is.
There’s an alternative path some of the sage portions of our fan base have been campaigning for. Enjoy the ride.
Count me among those who’ve taken the time to voice my concerns about this team not being quite as good as their record would indicate. But the time has come to realize we all know that, and we should start enjoying this experience. Together, preferably.
The Bills have the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New York Jets ahead on the schedule. The difficulty of some of those games may be debatable, but these alone are not games where the Bills should feel significantly outmatched. The opportunity to go 11-5 is real and welcome. Teams drop games they shouldn’t and win game games they shouldn’t every week of the season. Is it possible the Bills drop one of those games in true “Billsy” fashion? Absolutely. The opportunity that they steal a game from the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, or New England Patriots shouldn’t be thought of as impossible, either.
A long long time ago
The last time the Bills were 6-2 was 1993. I was 5 years old. I’m now a 31-year-old man with a wife and child. Literally a generation has passed. The war cry that “we aren’t actually this good!” is not incorrect but neither is it needed.
We all know the fear that the Bills will collapse like years past and a promising season will devolve into a travesty. At this point, there is nothing to suggest that will happen aside from our own emotional scars and those don’t indicate the present reality.
So, buckle up. Throw your hands in the air and yell when going down the hill. Cheer unabashedly. Go hoarse singing the Shout song. And do it knowing that good or not, the Bills are going places this season—and sometimes it can be a generation between these experiences. Wouldn’t it be a shame to waste it complaining the whole time?
You can follow me on Twitter @NickBat and look for episodes of “The Nick & Nolan Show” podcast on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network.