What followed in the wake of the Buffalo Bills’ Week 8 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers felt less like a triumphant return to NFL superiority and more like a thankful exhale, a fond farewell to a challenging month of confusion surrounding this season’s Bills.
Certainly, the Bills put forth a convincing display of football, even holding the Buccaneers’ talented wide receiver pair of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in check for most of the game. But, again... most, not all. As yet again, for the third time in as many weeks, Buffalo’s defense was forced to end the game in the end zone on the last play — finding a mark of 2-1 in such games. Such production isn’t sustainable, and luck only finds a person so many times.
Leading up to this year’s NFL trade deadline, it was clear to almost everyone paying attention to the Bills that help was needed at cornerback. Due to both a staggering amount of injuries and less-than-ideal play, reinforcements or better were needed. But what could they do — and who was even picking up the phone, waiting to be convinced that a starting CB should be made available? The Green Bay Packers. And cornerback Rasul Douglas.
Yes, eight weeks in, the Buffalo Bills have once again executed a make-over at cornerback. It remains to be seen if Douglas finds his way onto the field Sunday night, for Buffalo’s showdown on Sunday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals. But don’t entirely dismiss the idea. Douglas is here for a reason — and that’s to start. What that means long-term, no one knows, and that’s not a conversation we should have at this point. But for now, Bills Mafia is pretty content with the move that general manager Brandon Beane made to bring Rasul Douglas to One Bills Drive. To finalize the deal, Beane had to send the Packers a third-round pick in the 2024 draft, receiving in return a fifth-round pick from Green Bay in tow with Douglas.
In our poll this week, the vast majority of respondents gave the the trade for Douglas an “A” or “B” overall — as in 94% of voters.
All things in time, including allowing Douglas the time to adapt to head coach Sean McDermott’s defensive scheme. It’s a system that should favor Douglas, who’s a proven commodity as a zone defender.
In terms of overall confidence in the Buffalo Bills, we’re finally heading back up into the mountains. After a season low (and one of the lowest confidence ratings in recent seasons) where just 15% of the fan base was confident in the Bills’ direction, now 78% of fans are content about where the team is headed. Such is the nature of a week-to-week league so invested in each and every win and loss.
Despite the fact that many vote with their hearts, and with Bills Mafia having its collective heart “sports broken” during much of October, there is more behind a person’s confidence in their favorite team’s direction.
This week’s result may in fact have much to do with the moves Brandon Beane made this week. Signing Douglas was a wise football move — one that should allow the Bills to more fully compete on defense. But also, consider the move to sign free-agent defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who absolutely still has something left in the tank at 35, and should help bolster Buffalo’s interior defensive line — providing stout play as a 1-tech DT with plus ability to get into offensive backfields.