It's ok for Bills players and fans to still hold out the longshot hopes of the playoffs. I get that. For the players it's being professional For the fans it's being, well, fans. In my opinion that ship has sailed once again for 2012 because of a golden opportunity missed. The NFL schedule makers gave Buffalo a Christmas gift with a collection of teams to play that should have guaranteed playoff contention until Christmas. But right now there is nothing you can do about the failures so far, other than realize when you lose to the Titans at home, you have given away a great chance to make the playoffs. But looking at this final month of the regular season, I want to see this team and this coaching staff prove something before they pack it up in January
Sunday the Bills come back home against a Rams team that still has a flicker of playoff hope alive in the NFC They are also a team coming off an overtime win against the 49ers (after a tie with them earlier this year) The most impressive thing about the Rams is that they don't shrink and die against the monster of their division. (Unlike the Bills against the Patriots). The Rams, like the Bills, are an average team with an average quarterback. The only reason to think that Sam Bradford is any better than Ryan Fitzpatrick is because he was drafted number one overall. Maybe Bradford has a higher upside, but the clock is running on him. On Sunday I think the Bills will take the field with at least as good if not a better QB than their opponent. They are at home playing a team that loves to be in a dome. I would like to see the Bills come out Sunday against a pretty tough Rams defense and dictate a game plan of running the ball down their throats. Sunday they can prove something by winning and doing it impressively against a very average team.
But I don't want it to stop there. I want to see the Bills go to Toronto and play a potential playoff team in Seattle and show that that they can beat a good team , at a neutral site, in December. The schedule gives them a very beatable Miami team on the road and the Jets back home. This gives Buffalo an opportunity to prove that they are the second best team in the AFC East (which is kind of like being VP Joe Biden. It sounds better than it is) but it still means that they are a team that deserves some attention.
I hear people talk about "winning out". If this Bills team goes out and finishes the season at 9-7 and misses the playoffs in a tiebreaker the worst thing you can say about them is that they blew a couple of winnable games and it costs them an end to the playoff drought. I don't think anyone, short of the most optimistic fans, expect that over the next month. So how about the Bills go out and do the unexpected and make Buddy Nix look right when he says they are making progress. To me, going 2-2 would be typical Bills. They would finish the year 7-9 and try to sell that they are better than a year ago. That would be a major stretch. But 3-1 or even, heaven help us, 4-0 in the last month might give fans an actual reason for hope that this decade and a half of failure could end. Beating the Rams and Jets doesn't make you great. But losing games like that makes you seem like nothing has changed. And with the Bills recent history, nothing could be worse.