Well, wasn’t it fun for the first four weeks? And then came Cincinnati.
I was recently encouraged by an old friend who asked for some Trump relief and suggested a post about the Bills. I’m obliging, Tony, but I’m not sure if this qualifies as relief.
My pre-season prognosis suggested that the Bills might finish the season with 5 wins and 11 losses as part of a tanking season designed to help draft a franchise quarterback in 2018. The 5 wins for the season total may seem a little iffy, but it might not be that far off.
There have been too many seasons over the past 17 years which started out with excitement and hope but quickly came down to a regular mess. It’s too early to tell if 2017 will be another one of those years.
I will, however, take back the tanking comment. The new coach, Sean McDermott, seems like the real thing. The defense has been super, returning to the form of the pre-Rex Ryan days. They are what you need to get into the playoffs.
So are the special team folks, highlighted by kicker Steven Hauschka. No need to hold your breath anymore when a field goal is needed.
Unfortunately, football teams are also required to put an offensive squad on the field for about half the game. Unfortunately, the Bills offense has been offensive.
Tyrod Taylor cannot throw from the pocket. I doubt he can even see over the rushing linemen. He can’t throw over the middle. He cannot check off receivers. He has trouble getting rid of the ball when he is about to be sacked. Other than those things, he is okay.
It is not all Tyrod’s fault, of course. The team does not have any quality receivers, having disposed of several of them over the past year or two. Charles Clay occasionally shows some talent, but even New England does not rely on just the often injured tight end Rob Gronkowski to carry the team. And the team now says that Clay will be out for several weeks following his injury in the Cincinnati game.
LeSean McCoy is still a quality running back but he has sure been struggling of late. Mike Tolbert, as the second string running back, is not even in the Mike Gillislee class. The Bills were intending on compensating for a lack of a quality quarterback by featuring the running game. That is not working.
So the team will tease us a bit for the remaining eleven games, but then probably will settle into somewhere around 7 and 9. That, plus the fact that currently undefeated Kansas City’s first round draft pick in 2018 isn’t going to be worth much as they move toward the playoffs, doesn’t say much for getting a franchise quarterback next year.
But for the moment, after five games and at the bye week, the Bills are tied on top of the AFC East with New England and the Jets. So pretend that means something and enjoy it for the moment – literally, for the moment. It is as good as it is going to get for 2017.
Meanwhile in Pegulaville, the Sabres are still waiting for their first win.
Here’s a little poll of how Politics and Other Stuff readers think the 2017 Bills season might wind up.