It’s that time again in Buffalo.
Right around Halloween, the Bills start using the P-word.
No, not the one Jim Mora made famous. The goto P-word for the Bills is “Pride”.
As in, that’s all they have left to play for.
Lorenzo Alexander wins the award for first “pride” mention of 2018 following the loss to New England. “With each and every week, you have to come out with some pride and some professionalism. This is your job. This is what you’re paid to do.”
“Professionalism” hangs out with “pride” in losing locker room cliches quite a bit.
The P-word Alexander should be discussing is “playoffs”. And that goes for everyone else on the Buffalo defense.
One of the Sean McDermott buzz-phrases is “playoff caliber”. Despite a couple hiccups in Baltimore and Indy, the Bills defense has playoff caliber pouring out of their ears.
They’ve held Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady to one touchdown pass COMBINED. Throw out the Indy game, and they’ve allowed only five offensive touchdowns since week two.
The Bills D has delivered performances ranging from “pretty good” to “virtuoso” in five of the team’s last six games, but only two have resulted in W’s.
Those games are being wasted by an offense that might be the worst in modern football history. An offense that hasn’t scored a touchdown in half their eight games. An offense that has topped 20 points only twice.
Monday night was the first time all year Bills wide receivers had at least ten receptions in a game. There were seven quarterbacks who threw at least as many touchdown passes THIS WEEK as the Bills have all season (3).
The stats for Bills offensive futility go on and on. It’s embarrassing, even if the struggle this year was expected while breaking in a rookie quarterback.
The step back is being accepted as part of the McBeane long term plan that’s supposed to bear fruit next year or the one after.
It’s just too bad they have to waste a defense that’s ready to win now. There’s no guarantee it remains so successful.
None of the top five defenses in yards or points allowed from 2017 are in the top five this year. Most aren’t even in the top ten.
Lorenzo Alexander and Kyle Williams are 35. Both are unlikely to still be around when whatever plan to rebuild the offense is executed.
Buffalo is stocked with quality young defenders, but there is no greater fallacy in sports than the idea that young players can “only” get better. Some stay the same. Some get figured out.
The only thing we know is that this Bills defense can frustrate the best offenses and the best quarterbacks in the league right now. They could probably carry a team to the postseason with an offense that’s somewhere short of historically terrible.
Instead, the Bills will spend the second half of 2018 playing for pride and leaving fans cynical about another P-word the team uses all the time.