The Buffalo Bills haven’t made the playoffs in 17 years. It seemed like that streak would grow to 18 when they traded star wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second round pick on August 11. The same day, the Bills shipped starting cornerback Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third round pick in 2018.
Many fans immediately believed that this was yet another tanked season filled with the misery of losing. First year head coach Sean McDermott said otherwise from the very beginning.
McDermott, as well as new general manager Brandon Beane, have brought the “Trust The Process” to the city of Buffalo. Do not forget the six draft picks in the first three rounds of the 2018 draft.
Coach McDermott came out and addressed the media by saying, “We’re building a football team and we’re building a football team that we want to compete in the short and the long term and to be good for a long time…we’re going to compete like crazy…we’re going out there to compete and win every game…”
That was after week one of the preseason. Now through seven weeks of the regular season, the Bills are 4-2 and in second place in the AFC East. The fans are finally starting to “billieve,” beginning to trust the process, if you will.
Even with a young and depleted receiving core, Matthews missed one game with a broken thumb. Tight end Charles Clay, who has the most receiving yards on the team, is out indefinitely with a knee injury. The Bills are finding ways to win.
Buffalo has the 13th ranked defense in the NFL allowing 16.8 pts/G, and a total of 343.2 yards/game. They also have a +10 turnover differential, the best in the league.
Following Sundays thrilling 30-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, McDermott took to the podium. “I don’t know if I have an exactly right answer on that,” McDermott said when asked how his team keeps its underdog mentality. “It’s probably just more of what’s been said about these guys outside of this building. What was said in preseason where we’re tanking. All along we’ve said we’re building a team. We’re not tanking. I think guys, they embrace that. They embrace that underdog mentality, they embrace that underdog role.”
While the Bills still may not make the postseason this year, it appears they will have a little more fight than in previous seasons. Especially down the stretch when they play the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins twice each in the final five weeks.