The same thought has been stuck in everyone’s head once they got their brain to start working again sometime Monday afternoon after the Bills filleted the Fish: “Is this team really different?” Obviously, the sale to the Pegulas is exciting beyond comprehension (I’m still not 100% convinced it happened), but are they really getting better or is there simply a fresher coat of paint?
After all the years of disappointment, I wouldn’t blame any fan for taking this 2-0 start with a grain of salt. Since the Bills’ last playoff appearance, they have started a season 2-0 four times. Every coach over that span, except Gregg Williams, had a season that began with two wins.
In 2000, Rob Johnson won his first two home games en route to an 8-8 season, our second best record since the “Music City Mir-AH-MAKE-THE-MEMORY-STOP!”
Drew Bledsoe went 2-0 in 2003 to begin his career in Buffalo. This included one of our few wins over Brady & Belichick. The Bills finished 6-10.
Dick Jauron’s second season (2008) started with wins against the Seahawks (final record: 4-12) and the Jaguars (5-11). I won’t type that season’s ultimate record, because I like my computer and I try to avoid the urge to throw it out the window.
Most recently, Fitzmagic went 2-0, then 5-2, then… lost 7 in a row. Dear God, we’ve watched some terrible football in our time.
Unless you’re 12 years old, you lived through those years. So I don’t blame you if want to take this season’s start with a grain of salt.
Mike Pettine, Jairus Byrd, and Kiko Alonso aren’t walking through that door. Have you noticed their absence on defense? E.J. still looks inaccurate, but did you know we’ve scored more points than 25 other teams in the league? Doug Marrone was a questionable hire from a questionable football program. Anyone still question his decision to have C.J. return kickoffs?
I’m not saying it’s time to change the oil on the bandwagon just yet, but you can’t tell me that you felt like you were watching the “same old Bills” the last couple weeks. The same old version of this squad would have crumbled in Chicago and gagged on a 9-point lead that should’ve been 21 at halftime against the Dolphins. This team stopped a good offense on the road in overtime and embarrassed a division rival the week after they had beaten the Patriots.
The result could very well wind up being the same this season. But how can you not feel optimistic right now? How could the Bills have played any better to open this season? A 60-point win over the Dolphins? Kyle Williams jump-kicking Cutler in the face, like Antonio Brown? Admittedly that would’ve been amazing, but seriously folks, how could this get any better?