The Buffalo Bills are reverting to the mean


If you’re not a Buffalo Bills fan, then this post will be of little interest. Two weeks ago, I was pleased, but cautiously optimistic about the 5-2 start. I saw message boards on Bills’ fan sites and read local columnists’ pieces touting a possible end to the 18-season playoff drought. I chatted with my youngest sister after the victory over Oakland, and I played devil’s advocate. If you’re a suffering fan of the Bills, there is ample evidence for the “Debby Downer” attitude.

 Noting the upcoming schedule, I pointed out to my sister upcoming dates with New Orleans, Kansas City, and two games with New England. The lighter side of the schedule was the Jets Colts, Chargers, and two games against Miami.  I wasn’t confident my team could get to 10 wins – a playoff team benchmark – and after an embarrassing loss to the Jets 10 days ago, my concerns were amplified.

With the latest drubbing handed down by New Orleans (perhaps the worst home loss in my recollection), the playoffs seem more and more unlikely. The Saints are one of the hottest teams in the league and maybe one of the top three or four teams in the NFL right now. It was a litmus test for Buffalo to establish where it stacks up. Based on today’s performance, the Bills are closer to the preseason predictions of mediocrity than a playoff team. It was an egregiously bad performance, but I know at least one of my family members was pleased.

My oldest daughter attended the game with her boyfriend – her first NFL game – and she confessed to me before the game that she was actually a Saints fan.  I understand, though. She had no choice inheriting my genes, but had free rein to select her favorite sports team. And she had the good sense to avoid jumping into the cauldron of frustration and disappointment that is a Bills fan.

The Bills turned over more than 60 percent of its roster from last year, which has to be one of the most sweeping overhauls in the league. Despite the revamped roster, the Bills are reverting toward the mean.  They’re not that good on offense (26th in the league through nine games), and just as bad on defense (25th in the league).

I guess we should be pleased with the won-loss record. No other team in the NFL is among the worst eight teams in offense and defense, yet maintains a winning record.

I guess it could be worse. At least I’m not a Cleveland Browns fan.


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