Dear NFL Preseason,
I hate you. The players hate you. The coaches hate you. Most importantly, the fans hate you. We all knew the Bills weren’t that bad. However, throughout the preseason, we became more and more worried. Watching our first-team offense get stopped three and out by a bunch of Detroit practice squadders was beyond depressing and embarrassing. More than half of our fanbase turned on our starting quarterback, coaching staff, GM, & entire administration. I never completely turned on EJ, but I can understand the frustration… I sold my Bills vs New England tickets after sitting through the Bills vs.Bucs game. Maybe it was a little too soon to tell, but I had never been more depressed about this team at the start of the season. Plus, I got three times my money back…
So basically, the preseason exists to make you feel like shit and give a reason for your team to cut your favorite players. Against the Bucs, Steelers, & Lions, we looked like a high school team playing together for the first time. Teams are afraid to run any real plays from their playbook. It’s impossible for a QB to find their rhythm in 4 drives when you keep alternating linemen, alternating receivers, and doing the exact same 5 plays over and over.
Chicago vs Buffalo kicked off yesterday. After EJ’s first throw, I wanted to give up already. Chicago worked right down the field and threw a TD to a wide open Martellus Bennett. I knew we were getting blown out…But wait! Never mind all that shit! We went in there, took over the game, held onto our lead, defended our lead, & came out the winner in overtime! The team that couldn’t gain positive yardage or score in the red zone in over 5 preseason games moved down the field pretty much all game, without much trouble. It was an away game at the start of the season we had no business winning, but good teams beat good teams. We just beat a good team on their own turf. Did anyone seriously think we would stand a chance in that game? EJ looked absolutely pathetic in 3 out of the 5 preseason games. Yesterday, he looked like a rising star. The RBs clearly carried our offense, but EJ was nearly perfect for what we needed him to be. Who gives a shit about QBR & Stats when you can take your team all the way down the field to take the lead, then again five minutes later to win in overtime. EJ is now 5-6 as a starter, which really isn’t that bad. I’d even put him at 5-5 (remember, he didn’t lose the Cleveland game; Tuel did). Everyone remember this for next year before you freak out like this again.
Through all “experts” on CBS, FOX, NFL Network, ESPN, NBC, Bleacher Report and whatever other sports analysis programs you follow, did you see anyone pick the Bills to win? Speaking of Bleacher Report, Matt Miller & friends who don’t know anything about football or actually watch the teams they’re critiquing had the Bills record set at 3-13… 3-13!?!?! We’re a third of the way there, folks! I don’t wanna get too optimistic, but there’s actually a chance we could be 5-0 when we match up with New England in Week 5! On ESPN’s “Eliminator Challenge” / suicide pool game, one of the most picked choices was Chicago to win. I hope none of you were so pessimistic about the season you picked us to lose. Eric Wood even apologized to everyone who picked them after the game on twitter.
Hmmm… And they call themselves “experts” #BillsMafia
— Angela Machina (@amachina11) September 8, 2014
Great team win! Sorry about all your survivor pools out there =
— Eric Wood (@EWood70) September 7, 2014
My point is, the preseason means absolute shit. However, that was our only way of judging the team before the season actually started. Everyone wrote us off. Bills fans even wrote us off. I wrote us off. After yesterday’s showing, I seriously believe we could end up challenging for a Wild Card spot, even the AFC East! When was the last time we went to a difficult road environment and came out the clear winner? Last season we won two road games, Dolphins and Jags. In 2012, we won two road games, Cardinals and Browns. In 2011 before that, we only won one away game, the Chiefs. You get my point? This is a huge win, not just for the team but for EJ, Marrone, Hackett, Schwartz, and us Bills fans. However, we cannot forget the man who gave us two days worth of intel that really didn’t amount to anything… Superstar Jordan Palmer. Because of him, we got the win. Because of him, we’re making this playoff run. If we’re winning the Super Bowl this year, give that trophy to Jordan Palmer.