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SB Nation Reacts: Bills Mafia misses DBs and winning ways

Just how far has fan confidence plummeted after two straight Bills losses?

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

Each week during the regular season, Buffalo Bills fans vote in SB Nation Reacts to express their confidence level in the team.

The Bills enter Week 11 at 6-3, having fallen from the top of their division and conference. Where once they stood as undisputed favorites to not only appear in, but win, this season’s Super Bowl, the Bills are now stuck looking up at the division leaders from their perch in the Wild Card group.

What percentage of Bills fans are confident in the team’s direction?

Two straight losses have a profound effect on NFL teams. That’s true also of fan confidence, and for Bills Mafia, it continues to fall like lake-effect snow on the greater Buffalo region.

Fans are piling on the Bills—though perhaps it’s better said to be a piling against them. Only 57% of Bills Mafia believes the team is headed in the right direction. November has not been a kind month to the Bills—not only this season, but historically under head coach Sean McDermott. Will the Bills figure out what’s necessary to right their ship towards arid Arizona in February? If so, it starts in Week 11.

Which DB do the Bills miss the most right now?

If someone were to tell you the Bills would be playing a majority of their season without any of cornerback Tre’Davious White or safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, it’s likely you’d think the defense was in complete disarray. While that’s pleasantly not the case in any way shape or form, it’s clear that the elite traits and leadership roles of Buffalo’s All-Pro trio are genuinely missed. But which player does Bills Mafia think the team most misses?

It’s hard to argue with any choice, and that’s reflected in the results. But without a doubt, Poyer is one of the team’s most important pieces on defense within the context of this season, and a player who likely changes the outcome of any among the team’s three losses this season. Perhaps surprising to some, White comes in third, but I suspect that’s more a vote of confidence in the depth that general manager Brandon Beane, head coach Sean McDermott, and defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier have brought in and developed. They were prepared to play without White. Until this season, Poyer and Hyde were as automatic as the Earth revolving around the sun. While Damar Hamlin has played very well filling in at times for Hyde, there is a steep drop in production when both starting safeties are sidelined.

Another Reacts question this week asked fans to vote on which teams make the playoffs in 2022. While under 60% of Bills Mafia don’t quite trust the team’s direction, Buffalo is still a very popular choice to make the playoffs.

A testament to franchise quarterback Josh Allen, the enigmatic Stefon Diggs, and an outstanding defense, Buffalo slots in just behind the Kansas City Chiefs on this poll. The Bills must be very careful not to lose more ground and fall further behind the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

If the NFL Playoffs started this weekend, every AFC East team would make the cut. The Dolphins would win the division, with the Bills, Jets, and New England Patriots all stealing Wild Card spots. So much for the AFC West and their reign of dominance.

What was the most exciting NFL game to watch in Week 10?

If you watched the Bills’ home loss in overtime against the Minnesota Vikings, you already know the answer. Even if you didn’t watch it, you probably know the answer. The entire football world was talking about the game in Orchard Park, NY. Most have said it’s the game of the year, even better than Buffalo’s earlier dramatic win against the Kansas City Chiefs.

So it’s no surprise that 76% of respondents said the Bills-Vikings thriller was the game of the week.

A distant second was America’s Game of the Week, featuring the Green Bay Packers’ overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys.

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