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SB Nation Reacts: Buffalo Bills fans mostly confident after Week 1 of NFL preseason

The Bills still have something to prove to Bills Mafia, let alone the rest of the league

Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

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

As you’re well aware, the Bills won their first preseason game last weekend — their only home warm-up game ahead of the regular season — against the Indianapolis Colts, 23-19. While quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs didn’t play, there were plenty of fireworks on both sides of the ball for Bills Mafia to celebrate.

Knee-jerk reactions had much of the fan base questioning Kyle Allen’s performance in his first outing as a Bill. Ten-year NFL veteran quarterback Matt Barkley aided those concerns, after he put together a nearly flawless performance — that included more touchdowns (2) than incomplete passes (1).

As with most things in life, the truth lies somewhere in between the extremes of takes about Kyle Allen and Barkley. The newest Allen is still adapting to offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey’s play book. Barkley has years in the system, having worked with both former OC Brian Daboll and Dorsey. To be certain, if the Bills should have to endure life without QB 17 for an extended time, significant worry will develop, justifiably. There isn’t anyone the Bills can employ now who will ever replicate what Josh Allen does for the Buffalo Bills. That’s the case for most teams that roster the NFL’s biggest unicorn: A generational talent at franchise QB.

Did the quarterbacks influence the way Bills fans voted in their confidence for the team’s direction midway through August? It’s hard to find reason to complain about an 86% vote of confidence. But that’s still

The Buffalo Bills come in at 16, right in the middle of the pack concerning fan confidence. Those teams with fans more confident than Bills Mafia?

We’re all still in preseason mode, and hopefully after the Bills face the Steelers, fan confidence rises. If it doesn’t there’s plenty of time for the team to prove what the fan base needs to see. It would help if head coach Sean McDermott was able to define starters at key positions on defense. There’s still too much to uncover at MIKE linebacker and also at CB2. There’s a logjam at wide receiver behind Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. Who makes the final roster, and what will their roles be on offense and special teams?

On the national level, one question that interestingly enough relates well to the results of the Bills-specific question dealt with importance of the first week of preseason action. We all know that preseason doesn’t truly mean much when it comes to regular-season football. It is, however, perhaps the most meaningful point in the season for those players who aren’t guaranteed a roster spot in September. But most teams simply want to get out of the week without enduring significant injuries, or showing their hand on either side of the ball.

There’s room to grow in terms of how confident Bills fans are this season, certainly. But the grain of salt offered by the 14% who feel less confident at this point serve as a reminder that we really haven’t seen anything to meaningfully form a full opinion.

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