Heading into the regular season, it’s fair to say that most people would written a “W” next to the Buffalo Bills for Week 8. The Bills were once again a team with the highest of expectations, and their opponent for tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup appeared to be going in the other direction, and starting quarterback Baker Mayfield. Instead, we have a 4-3 Bills team facing a 3-3 Buccaneers squad facing off in a must-win game for both sides.
It’s rare for cross-conference games to be considered must-wins, outside of the Super Bowl. But that’s where we’re at. Bills fans have lost most of their confidence in the team, especially the offense, which appears beleaguered within a scheme that doesn’t suit them well (stats aside).
Given the way things have unfolded for the Bills the last three games — including the catastrophic amount of injuries on defense that’s caused a major regression in the unit’s on-field production, and of course the offensive conundrum — yes, there were bound to be numerous questions and plenty of doubters.
Heading into tonight’s game, it’s pretty clear to see why just a little better than half of voters are confident in the Bills winning their Week 8 home game against the Bucs.
Hopefully Bills Mafia are in much different spirits just before midnight tonight, and far more confident in the team having seen what they needed to observe. But right now, that level of confidence is in the outhouse.
Quarterback Josh Allen often looks like he’s frustrated, and he’s not making pre-snap reads with the same level of success he had in prior seasons. But 12 personnel has worked well at times. Even better, when offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey puts Allen in play-action settings, his numbers have been off the chart, presenting a new, fiendishly accurate version of Allen who destroys defenses over the middle instead of always looking for the home run.
But that’s just not who Josh Allen is. His success in Buffalo has come while out of shotgun and operating out of 11 personnel. As such, Bills Mafia have lost the trust they had that the team was headed in the right direction. The same can be said of Allen’s trust in his pass catchers aside from wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
Right now, just 15% of Bills fans are confident in the team’s direction. While it’s not entirely the case, the team have the feel of a group at a crossroads, and there’s not much time to fix what’s wrong. November and December games make or break playoff-hopeful teams.
Concerning this week’s national polls, the Bills were the subject of quite a few results:
Buffalo’s loss at New England was voted the most surprising loss of Week 7 (43%), as was the Bills’ record of 4-3 entering play in Week 8 (33%).