Wow! Remember how we as fans felt at the beginning of this past season, no hope in the world for the Bills, and then remember how we felt after the 3-0 start, including a victory against the Patriots for the first time in 10 games (5 seasons) and only the 2nd time in the last 17 attempts.
All the things that we were supposed to fail at we were succeeding, the O-line look liked great, Fitz looked like a pro bowl quarterback, Fred Jackson looked like the best back in the game, and although they were giving up a lot of points they were finding ways to win. It was exciting, nerve racking, and edge of your seat, real hard hitting football, the kind we as fans haven’t seen in years.
The Bills were riding a 11 year playoff drought and for once in a very long time, it seemed like there was confidence in Buffalo and that there was a good chance of the Bills breaking that streak. Some excitement was lost in week five with a loss to the Bengals, but then fans were right back on the bandwagon with a win over the “dream team” that was the Eagles. The following week came a loss to the NY Giants, but it was a good, hard fought game, losing only 27-24 and oh yeah, the Giants ended up being pretty good (they won the SUPERBOWL).
However, the Bills bounced back, something they never seem to do, and won impressively over the Redskins the following week. The Bills were 5-2 at the halfway point, and were looking like a playoff team, but because the Bills have always found away to disappoint, I never let go of the fact that this ride could end at any giving moment. That moment came in week 9 with a loss to the Jets which started the inevitable; a seven game losing streak, and resulted in the Bills only winning one game in the last nine. The Bills found a way to do it again! They had fans “Billieving” again and then just with a wink of an eye, ripped all the belief away and managed to miss the NFL playoffs for the 12th straight season.
So here the Bills are again, a familiar place, entering another off-season with a top 15 pick (#10 this year) in the NFL draft, and have a team filled with so many holes, two drafts couldn’t fill all the voids. As a fan, I don’t know what is worse; not making the playoffs for 12 years or failing for 12 seasons in the off-season?
Now this off-season already, Buddy Nix has declared no interest in moving up to the number two draft spot and said on the local sports radio show, that he likes to find talent late in the free agent pool. To justify his reasoning for the approach to free agents he let fans know that he picked up Nick Barnett late last off-season, and wanted to give more examples, but stuttered, couldn’t think of anymore and just simply said some “receivers and cornerbacks.”
It is so reassuring that with all the holes this team has, that they have no interest in Robert Griffin III (likely the 2nd player taken this draft) and most likely won’t be signing any free agents early because supposedly the talent is found later rather than earlier. Previous years have proven the Bills are horrible at drafting early round players, so at number 10 overall this year I have no faith in what they choose to do. I have no faith that they will sign a big name free agent and for that matter, no faith that a big name free agent would even want to come here. So, I am preparing myself for another dismal off-season, another team on the field filled with undrafted players and unwanted free agents, and most likely, making it 13 consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance.
1. Bills Draft Needs: Pass Rushing DE; Pass Rushing OLB; Shut Down CB; Big Playmaking WR; Pro-Bowl LT
2. Notable Free Agents: Curtis Lofton (LB), Mario Williams (LB/DE), Brandon Carr (WR), Cortland Finnegan (WR), Carlos Rogers (WR), Vincent Jackson (WR), Brandon Lloyd (WR), Pierre Garcon (WR), Dwayne Bowe (WR)…(just to name a few)
3. 2012-2013 Season Predictions: 7-9 record, 4th AFC East; 13 seasons without making the playoffs