The Buffalo Bills are one of the worst teams in football. They have many more weaknesses than strengths. They so lack stability that their opening day quarterback has already been cut. What is amazing is how little optimism existed in the fan base heading into the year. No matter how dire the situation is, fans can at least usually talk themselves into believing their team can overachieve and have a good year. I'm sure we will talk with our good friend Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings later in the week for confirmation of this, but I couldn't find a single Bills fan who felt like their team had a shot of being good this year before the year. That's amazing for a team with a new regime in place. Usually a new coach and GM bring unrealistic levels of optimism.
I am still afraid of this weekend's game. It's a textbook trap game. The Jets are coming off an emotional road win over a bitter rival. They have what will be a much hyped primetime game against Brett Favre after this. It would be very easy to not take the Bills seriously.
No game is a given in the NFL, though, particularly road games in the division. Familiarity is a great equalizer. As bad as the Bills are, they have played the Dolphins and Patriots, both vastly superior teams, close. I have seen too many trips to Orchard Park against allegedly inferior Bills teams end in disaster to feel overly confident heading into this one. I remember a year ago when the Bills limped into the Meadowlands. They had lost a game the previous week even after the opposing quarterback was 2 for 17 throwing the ball. Bills fans told us the game was a gimme. Six Jets interceptions later, Gang Green suffered a devastating overtime loss.
There is a good chance the Bills could have a top five Draft pick. They might even have the top pick next year. They may have weaknesses up and down the roster and a suspect coach. Their current starting quarterback might have a career passer rating of 68.6. They might be 0-3. This is still a dangerous game if the Jets overlook it.
We'll find out a lot about whether this club yet has the maturity of a champion.