I have to admit something, I'm not the biggest Bills fan on the earth. I don't own any Bills paraphenalia nor is there really any hanging in my house. Compare that to all of the Sabres stuff I own and you can probably figure out which franchise I am a bigger fan of. With all of that said, I still couldn't help myself but get wrapped up in the hype of the offseason. With the biggest splash the Bills have ever made, Bills fans around the world had to think that this defense was going to be infinitely better than what the franchise put on the field last season. Add to that the favorable schedule and fans were thinking about something they haven't seen in 13 years, the playoffs.
It took about 30 minutes to erase all of that goodwill from the offseason and have Bills fans fearing the worse. The Bills finished the first half against the Jets down 27-7; watched their quarterback throw two bad interceptions; saw one of their two starting running backs go down with a knee injury; and saw the vaunted defense just get thrashed around the field.
There were high points to this game. CJ Spiller filled in admirably, rushing for 169 yards on 14 carries and added 25 more yards on two catches. The Bills offense did find their flow as they scored three consecutive touchdowns at the end of third and the start of the fourth quarter. The defense was able to force one turnover, even though it may have been a gift from Mark Sanchez.
Bills fans have seen bad opening days before. This game was the 16th time the team has lost by ten or more points in their opening game. In those sixteen seasons, they have finished over .500 three times, making the playoffs in each of those seasons. The last time it happened was 1999, the last time the Bills made the playoffs. On the flip side, the Bills have won their opening game by more than ten points four times in the past ten years and didn't finish .500 or better.
The Bills defense will be better than they were and as the young secondary gets more playing time they should improve as well. The pass rush should find a way to break through as Mario Williams didn't get paid $100 million because he made one tackle a game. Referees won't screw up calling games as real referees should be back on the field sooner rather than later. The team will have the advantage of facing some really terrible teams on their schedule. Things will get better even though it feels like this team just kicked the fans in the teeth.
Bad starts can be overcome just like good starts can be squandered. The team will make some adjustments and pretty much have the same schedule they had the last time they sniffed the playoffs. There is still plenty of time left in the schedule and things will be adjusted. Panic if the team repeats their performance next week.
For more on Zach's other passion, check out his site Die By The Blade