So About the Undefeated Buffalo Bills. . .

The Bills stunned pretty much everyone by blowing out the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium by a final score of 41-7. It took just one convincing win and, all of a sudden, there is hope surrounding the team that has seemed adrift for a decade. Heck, even Jerry Sullivan is upbeat about this team. 

But what should fans expect for the rest of the season? We’ve all been let down so many times. Like remember when the Bills beat the Patriots 31-0 in the 2004 season opener? But The Fifth Down blog at the NY Times has an interesting analysis of the Bills situation and how it may bode well for a better-than-expected season. 
From their blog post: From 1978-2010, only 7 teams were a) an underdog in their season opener and b) covered the point spread by at least 30 points and c) won 6 or fewer games in the prior season. 5 of those 7 teams went on to win at least 8 games in that season and 2 of them made the playoffs. 
The post’s author, Chase Stuart, goes on to note that in 2010, the Bills had the worst turnover margin in the NFL. Since 1990, teams with the worst turnover margin have won just 4.6 games that season (the Bills finished last year 4-12). But the following season, those teams have won, on average, 7.9 games. Football stat geeks view turnovers differently than most fans in that they recognize luck plays a big role in how many turnovers a team has during any given season. As a result, the football sabermetrics crowd estimates the Bills will be a better team this year than most people expect; indeed, the dean of football geeks (Football Outsiders) projected the Bills to win 7.1 games. 
So there are quantifiable reasons to have hope for this season. Now let’s see what happens when Oakland comes to town next Sunday. 

About the author  ⁄ diddlebock

20 comments
jwright
jwright

You actually watch the games? I simply look at stats, you're correct. Maybe I'll actually check out the Oakland game and get back to you.

chetroia
chetroia

I love the Bills so much I still wear my 1992 Zuba pants including the fanny pack and Bills division champs sweatshirt. At least I dont feel out of fashion in Buffalo.

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

If you ask any coach who has ever taken over a losing program what the hardest aspect of the team to change is, you will always get the same answer, attitude. Its not talent, its not coaching, or anything else, its instilling a belief that you "will" win, and not just hoping to win. I feel like this teams believes they can each weak. Not having Poz, Evans, and players from the past regime is going to help get rid of that losing mentality.

Random
Random

While there could be multiple reasons, Gailey not knowing how to handle an offense isn't one of the reasons. In fact, did you even watch the games or are you just stating your "expert" analysis on just what their record was?

I ask that because there were number of games where the Bills were in contention. They took a playoff team in the Chiefs to OT and they took the Steelers (fact: They made it to the super bowl) to OT as well and should've won at that. No, I'm not saying that had an amazing offense but it very much kept the Bills in games. Defense is a main reason why we didn't win many games. They couldn't stop the run.

jwright
jwright

If Gailey knows how to handle the offense why did they have one of the worst records in the NFL last year? It wasn't all the defense. They were 15th last year in total offense.

jwright
jwright

If you take away last season the Bills have been close to averaging 8-8/7-9 since 2000!!! So how is going 8-8 again an improvement? Yeah, over last year, big deal. Also, the Colts & Packers have been around the youngest teams in football for the past several years, so what does that have to do with anything?

buffjeff
buffjeff

I'm enjoying the win. It took nine weeks to win one last year; but we were also 4-4 the second half of the year under a new staff so I'm sure we are not as bad as preceived by the rest of the football world.

This team is much bigger than the Jauron teams and Chan Gailey knows how to handle the offense; something that has been missing for quite some time.

I just want a better product which I think we started to see last year and hope we can build on.

jwright
jwright

I don't trust the Bills to pick anything under a top three pick, I think Dareus was a no-brainer, he was "handed" to them in a way. I'm torn though, six days out of the week I want them to go 0-16, but on Sunday I always hope they win. I don't expect 14-2 or anything close to it, but 8-8 is just more mediocrity.

GinghamQuaker
GinghamQuaker

Rather than worry about keeping perspective how about we enjoy at least one week of having a winning record? This is one of the youngest teams in the league. An 8-8 season would be a tremendous improvement, and a true sign that this young core is moving in the right direction.

suburban_hillbilly
suburban_hillbilly

The game Sunday was great but it was just game one of 16. Lets keep this win in perspective. It is one win. It was a good win but the Jets and Patriots are class of our division. Beat them, then we can talk playoff potential.

JM
JM

top draft pics are a bit over rated. Sure I'd rather have a better pic but not at sacrificing the season again.

Look at the top QBs in the league:

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots Round 6/ pick 199

2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts 1/1

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints 2/32

4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers 1/24

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers 1/11

6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers 1/4

7t. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles 1/1

7t. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons 1/3

9. Eli Manning, New York Giants 1/1

10t. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens 1/18

10t. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys undrafted

Sure half are top 10 picks but half aren't. Andrew luck doesn't have to come out, so there really isn't even a Franchise QB available worth trashing the season.

jwright
jwright

8-8 would be fantastic! That would mean no playoffs yet again AND a so-so draft pick.

Wolffman
Wolffman

Cool, we can be mediocre!

Random
Random

I don't think demolishing a playoff team is being "upbeat prematurely". Fans are excited not only because they won but by the margin that they won. Check your history, the Chiefs are an extremely tough team to play when they're at home.

Nobody has said playoffs or super bowl.In fact, most fans that I've spoken with don't expect a New England win but are happy that there looks like there is some progress. Contrary to your very valued opinion (sarcasm?), this week's game is just as important as week 3's game versus New England. They started 5-0 a few seasons back but missed playoffs. Nobody is forgetting us. Forgive those excited about a win to start off a season when just a few weeks ago many fans were expecting bad things a few weeks ago. You can have that Buffalo doom and gloom mentality, but I won't.

JM
JM

So basically there is nothing they could have done this week to make you happy right? They destroyed last years AFC West Champs, and held the top running team to around 100 yrds, last year was closer to 300. Really that just shows the parity in the league. The Bills aren't as far off as people tend to talk about, not saying super bowl but I could see 8-8 this season or even a little better.

Don't make the NE game to be all or nothing, a lot of very good teams will fall to the Pats so even if we do lose it won't mean the Bills are terrible.

Random
Random

My statement wasn't geared towards you. I actually agree with what you said in your original post. I can't see how you even thought I was speaking towards you seeing that I made no mention of your name, unless you consider yourself a Debbie Downer. You're so vain, you thought that post was about you.

LouisTully
LouisTully

There's no Debbie Downer about it. They've had one winning season in the past 11 and that was a 9-7 mark. AND it wasn't a playoff year. That's over a decade without the playoffs. That's a decade of losing. People don't go onto the Clippers boards and say "I'm waiting for the typical Debbie Downer comments". Because they suck.

The Bills have been bad - and not just bad bad, they've been horrendously bad - for a long time. There is absolutely every reason for any Bills fan to be as negative as they want. And that's not being a fair-weathered fan. That's spending your hard earned, blue collar town bucks on an organization that is more worried about the parking lot situation than they are about what happens on the football field. I'm a Buffalo everything fan. And I'm not going to let some Random weenie tell me I'm fair-weathered or a whiner because I want to be critical of an organization saturated in underperformance.

Random
Random

I'm waiting for the typical Debbie Downer comments...

buffloonitick
buffloonitick

that's one in a row...

yep, ready for the superbowl.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Wow. Everyone sure is getting upbeat a little prematurely. KC returned to respectable form last year after several years of bottom-dwelling. Forget what happens next week, wait for the result in two weeks before anyone starts talking about hope or turnaround.

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