Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Buffalo Bills fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.
The 2023 NFL season ranks as one of the most frustrating campaigns in recent Buffalo Bills history. So much potential, and talent. Nail-biting wins and maddening losses that trend against the grain. Bills Mafia is over it! There’s no more room for error, which isn’t the best news when it comes to Buffalo’s remaining schedule.
Next up is a road date with the Kansas City Chiefs, who also look less complete than seasons’ past. Though looks... they are often deceiving. The Chiefs continue winning games, with Andy Reid’s squad currently ranked third in AFC playoff seeding.
Following a week off to rest and regroup, will the Bills return to their winning ways on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium? Buffalo’s offense under interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady looked focused and proficient the last two games. If not for a handful of execution miscues, we’re likely talking about a much different outcome in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles. But this year’s team hasn’t shown an ability to play above myriad errors, with perhaps its greatest deficiency found in late-game decisions by head coach Sean McDermott. Will McDermott prove doubters wrong, and repair his gaffes at the end of games before it costs the Bills a shot at the playoffs? At this point, there’s no guarantee Buffalo will even qualify for postseason play. Eleventh in the conference and 6-6 is not an enviable position to be in — but one Bills Mafia grew accustomed to during those darker seasons that began more than a generation ago.
McDermott’s Bills teams have historically played well in the month of December, and most would agree that the late bye should allow the team to feel recharged during a pivotal point in the season. But is that enough to repair the damage that’s been done to this point? The Buffalo Bills have an alarming figure tethered to their list of players on Injured Reserve (IR). Currently, around 17% of the Bills salary cap (roughly $35 million) is glued to players on IR, both in-season and season-ending in nature. The overwhelming majority of that amount has sapped the defensive side of the ball. What was previously a top-tier until in 2023 has come crashing back down toward the middle of the pack back on Earth. That’s to be expected When a team loses key starters at each level of the defense, then sees depth players at those positions lose time, games, or even seasons of their own. It’s worth noting that McDermott has cobbled together a competitive group following the crushing wave of injury early in the season. However, have his tactics changed during moments when the chips are down because of the available personnel? If proven true, then more fans might be willing to cut him some slack. At this point, the fan base needs to see more from the man set to become the franchise’s second-most successful head coach of all time.
For some in Bills Mafia, time has run out. Has it for you, and your confidence in the Buffalo Bills?
So tell us, Rumblers: Are you confident in the direction of the Buffalo Bills heading into Week 13?