I really need to be frank. A month ago, after attending a Buffalo Bills training camp in a hot early August day in Rochester, NY, I thought I knew what I was going to write about come September.
I thought I would be writing about how Sammy Watkins would be overcoming that pesky foot injury while catching deep balls slung by Tyrod Taylor. Not by Jared Goff.
I thought I would be writing about how Ronald Darby would be making interceptions against our opponents in the regular season. Not witnessing him intercepting the ball in an Eagles jersey against the Bills in a preseason game.
I thought I would be writing about how Anquan Boldin would be providing a necessary veteran presence for our wide receiver corps. Not receiving the news that he would be retiring and pursuing other fights going on off the field.
A lot can happen in a short amount of time in the NFL, and I learned that can apply to my football team.
For the past month or so, I’ve tried to write then rewrite a cohesive narrative that would express my thoughts and feelings on the upcoming season for my Bills.
My chronic procrastination got the best of me. I needed to write something before this Sunday before the Bills face the New York Jets in their home opener.
People keep asking me how I feel about the Bills allegedly tanking much like their fellow AFC East opponent the Jets.
I would like to think the Bills are taking a different road than the Jets. I would like to think they are on the right track this time to redemption after the tumultuous Rex Ryan era. I would like to think that they are finally going to snap that newsworthy 17 year old record of zero playoff appearances and finally hoist up that coveted Holy Grail of the NFL: the Lombardi Trophy.
I reside in Boston and it’s difficult to envision what it would feel like to watch that Super Bowl Champions banner being let down for the first time. Let alone for the fifth time.
With the slate of Week One games approaching, it’s time for me to get out my crystal ball and make my predictions.
My fantasy football team is cheekily named “17 Years and Counting” for a reason. Perhaps the cynical side of myself should rename it “18 Years and Counting,” but I just don’t have the heart to yet.
I still assert the Bills are going through a rebuild and not a tank job. For 17 years, this team has gone through numerous regime changes. They are looking toward the future by stockpiling draft picks for 2018.
I see major potential in young players like Zay Jones and Shaq Lawson. Their talents should put them in the headlines consistently.
They switched from the lackluster 3-4 hybrid defense that was out of Rex Ryan’s playbook to a 4-3 defensive scheme, which has already proven to be more effective during the preseason. Let’s see if this carries over into the regular season.
We are finally getting back to football on Sunday.
The Bills have enough talent to squash the inept Jets at their home opener. With the Patriots losing to the Chiefs last Thursday and the Dolphins on a premature BYE due to a hurricane, they have an actual shot to be on top of the AFC East standings.
Their team slogan this year for their marketing campaign is “It Starts with One.” All they need to do is win enough games to nab a wildcard playoff game spot. Truly, it does start with one game.
Circle those wagons.