It’s hard to hold out much hope for the Bills this weekend. Right now, the New Orleans Saints look like the heavy favorite to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLVIII and we look at best like a heavy favorite to battle for a 7-9 record. EJ is still out and Spiller looks like he’s 50% at best. And even though our defense has clearly turned a corner, recently they've had slow starts which could add up to an early blowout this Sunday.
But all in all, the Bills have made every game exciting this year, with no game decided by more than one score. So even if our odds are no better than Lloyd Christmas winding up with Mrs. Samsonite, this is a game worth getting excited about.
Three Things To Be Excited About:
1) Mario Williams
Obviously every success in the NFL is a group effort and most Bills fans understand that Mario Williams, surrounded by typical defensive talent from past years, would have a giant truck tire in place of his 10 sacks stat. Pettine’s schemes have been effective, while Dareus, Kiko, Kyle, Lawson, and the rest of the front 7 help keep the double teams away. Even the secondary, for all their faults, have kept quarterbacks confused long enough to occasionally give him time. Not often, but often enough.
If the Bills are going to have any chance at all, Williams will have to play even better against the Saints.
2) Fred Jackson
The other hero from last Sunday’s win needs no introduction. For years, we’ve all been aware that #22 is the toughest man to keep down in the locker room. Now the rest of the league is starting to notice it too. His run on 3rd-and-4 at the end of the Fins game was exactly the kind of hard-nosed, clutch running we’ve come to know and love from the only good offensive weapon to come out of the “high-character” era.
This “exciting thing” obviously comes with a disclaimer. Clearly, he’s not fully healed from his knee injury. But that’s life for an NFL running back. No one finishes the season at 70%, let alone 100%. Unless, of course, your coach benches you a lot because you’re tired. (Can you imagine that was a thing once?) So until C.J. is closer to healthy than not, Jackson will continue to get the bulk of the carries. We know he’s up for it. Just step carefully, Freddy.
3) A Major Upset
Amongst friends, family, and that other lonely guy at the bar you talk to about sports, we all know the Bills have no business walking into Louisiana and beating the Saints on their own field. But the way this team is starting to play together, you can’t help wondering who they can’t beat. We nearly knocked off Tom Brady on Opening Day. If not for E.J.’s injury, maybe we beat the Browns and we’re headed into this week at 4-2. Then would you feel a little better about our chances?
Nah, probably not. But even though we all hate the fate we’ve been resigned to for so many years, playing spoiler to the powerhouses has become a source of solace for we Bills fans. And knocking off the 5-1 Saints, literally on their home turf, would be a huge win headed into Week 9 against the (pretty safe to assume) 8-0 Chiefs.
What basis do I have for believing this is possible? Well, we have exciting thing 1 going up against a team with a weak running attack (ergo, more predictable passing plays) and exciting thing 2 against a weak run defense. If everything goes right with those 2 things, and Thad remains ignorant of the fact he has no business playing this well, maybe, JUST MAYBE, the Bills can steal a win.
But probably not. For the following reasons...
THREE THINGS TO BE ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED ABOUT:
Historically, the Bills have been pwned by every talented tight end they’ve gone up against in the last 58;9^34 years. Jimmy Graham is on pace to finish with almost 1,900 receiving yards and 19 TDs. To put that in perspective, eight TEAMS didn’t finish with 19 receiving touchdowns last year. He accounts for a third of their passing yards and a quarter of their points scored on offense. Am I getting through to you? THE MAN IS A MONSTER! GRAB THE PITCHFORKS AND TORCHES!
Ok, ok. Graham injured his foot against the Patriots in Week 6 and is at best questionable heading into this weekend. But even if he’s not fully healed, there’s still terrifying thing #2 to worry about.
2) Drew Brees
If the Bills somehow find a way to stifle Graham’s performance on Sunday, they’ll only have to worry about every other player in Brees’ arsenal. I’d argue that ever since Brees put on the black & gold, no quarterback has been better at distributing the football to a variety of players better than he has. Anyone who has ever had a Saints WR on their fantasy squad can tell you that, besides Graham, there’s no telling which other player is going to have a big week.
Each week we’ve seen the secondary give up at least one, if not several, gaudy deep passes to quarterbacks with FAR less talent than Brees. And if they’re expecting the clubbed arm of Stephon Gilmore to cover Moore or Colston this week, things could get ugly in a hurry.
3) Rob Ryan
Playlist song addition you may not know about:
Tristessa by Smashing Pumpkins
Last week, I gave you kids hip-hoppin’. This week, I dig a gem out of my rock’n’roll past to get you fired up. Assuming you’re in my age range, you had at least one Smashing Pumpkins phase in your childhood, so you might already know this one. But if you don’t, click play and try not to get pumped up for open-field tackles and Jackson trucking cornerbacks.
Wait, why would I tell you not to do that? Do that.
Paranoid by Black Sabbath
In keeping with the head-banging, air-guitar inducing, “SOMEBODY HIT SOMEBODY” mentality, it didn’t take me long to think of this one. No introduction or explanation is needed. Just hit play. Not another person. Aside from that asshole at the bar wearing a “vintage” Manning jersey.
Blah blah Del's cool yada yada lots of them suck blub blub here we go.
Also, disqualified from comedic consideration for the use of "Bruh."
Honorable Mention of the Week:
Aside from one 42-yarder he pushed right against the Panthers, Carpenter has been flawless. He has scored 45 points over his first 6 games as a Bill and done it everywhere from the 20’s to the mid-50’s, including a 55-yarder he could’ve hit from even further back. But surely his personal highlight from the season thus far was an easy 31-yard chip shot against the team he opened training camp with this year. I’ve never been so happy to have a former Dolphin on my team as I was this past Sunday. Yes, I wanted to strangle him for a moment when he failed to kick it through the endzone on the following play, but no Bills win is complete unless you spend the closing seconds tearing your hair out.
Assuming he can withstand the shock of playing in front of an away crowd that actually gets loud, he should benefit from playing in a dome and will certainly get his opportunities to impress us again this week.
Dishonorable Mention of the Week:
Whoever Let This Happen
You know him. You love him. Without further ado... El Greasico...
IT’S EL GREASICO! The man of 1,001 wrestling holds, porn stars boned, and burritos eaten is bringing you hot fucken takes from the Titty Twister in Mexico City.
So, you fucken hombres are excited about the Bills winning? Why? Because Chubs can drag his fucken 4 Horsemen crew of cunts known as the Deeg to some fucken soccer game no one gives a fuck about? FUCK YOU! FUCK SOCCER! FUCK YOUR CRUSADING HAIRY ASSHOLE FOR MAKING ME HAVE TO HEAR ABOUT SOCCER! UNLESS BRANDY TITSTAIN IS FUCKEN NAKED ON THE FIELD, I DON’T CARE!!!
Anyways, I wanna hablo about these fucken twats known as the Sabres. JESUS FUCKEN CHRIST ON A CROSS! And I thought the mexican water pushed the shittest shit out of my ass. That fucken record goes to Terry Pegula and the way he's shit out a hockey team that should fucken be deported.
Speaking of shitty… WHO THE FUCK IS THIS PETERS ANDREW GUY? This fucken Planet Of The Apes look-alike is a fucken meathead of epic proportions. He can't talk like me. He can't fight like me. He can't fuck like me. He sounds like my cousin talking, but with a bag of dicks in his mouth. You know why he doesn't want to take fighting out of the game? Because this asshole's looks were improved when he got his face beat in.
You know how there's talk about goons donating their brains to science after they die to see how much damage hockey did to their brains? I assure you, if a lab gets their hands on his brain, they will fucken outlaw hockey and make us all ride the special bus like Fatsman did when he was a kid.
This asshole has like 3 TV Shows with your homeboy Coach Coffee, Crappy Bagnini on Crappy sports extra, and Kevin Eye-waxing Vester. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOUR SHOWS IN THAT TOWN?!
Do you guys even watch porn in Buffalo or just fucken beat off to Maryalice Demler's flock of seagulls hairstyle?
Now let me tell you about Cake Fingers!
Wait, that girl looks like she's eying my Wrangler jeans ass. I gotta go. Oh, my cockblock of the week is Miami covering. FUCK YOU AND DIE!
Simply the best.
The Bills will bend, break, but not get blown out.
Bills 27, Saints 34
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hide in my closet.