The Buffalo Bills haven’t been in the playoffs since the 1999 AFC Wild Card game when they lost to the Tennessee Titans. For many Bills fans we remember it has the “forward pass,” however the rest of the world remembers it as the Music City Miracle play.
Either way, the Bills have seen six head coaches, seven starting quarterbacks, and 14 long seasons go by since they have been in the playoffs. It’s been a long road for fans and players alike but some believe the end is near.
This past off-season Buffalo brought in a new coaching staff in hopes to spice things up. Doug Marrone and company seem to be bringing a new philosophy to Western New York, or at least a philosophy that hasn’t been around since the Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith era. They have installed a fast pace no huddle offense, and an aggressive defense. The Bills are still a young team that is still building chemistry and learning this philosophy/style of football but it seems the players are excited about it and have accepted the change.
In addition to adding a new coaching staff, the Bills drafted E.J. Manuel who is believed to be the next franchise quarterback. Manuel was not thought as the top ranked quarterback in the 2013 draft class, however, Buffalo decided that he was their guy. So far this season Manuel has been average and that’s not a bad thing for a rookie but also not the best thing when many of us football fans saw what last years rookie quarterbacks accomplished. Manuel has a 59.3% completion rate and an overall 86.5 quarterback rating through three games. If he is going to be the next Jim Kelly, the Buffalo Bills are going to need better results from the young star.
With a young and talented offense comes a young and talented defense as well. With key players like Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Manny Lawson, the Bills have surrounded them with young talent. Players like Kiko Alsono who has two interceptions, one sack, one forced fumbled, and one fumble recovery through three games and Stephon Gilmore who had a very good rookie year but is out this season for a few weeks due to injury.
Yes, the Bills seem to be putting a defense together and with Mike Pettine as the new defensive coordinator it seems they are an aggressive defense that many fans and players have been waiting for.
With all the new additions and key pieces of the Buffalo Bills it makes you wonder, when will they reach the playoffs? Fans have been loyal to the franchise and have continued to sell out games and support the team. Some players like Kyle Williams and Fred Jackson have stuck around just to help build the team. It’s been a long road for many of us but there seems to be some new energy in Western New York. In the 2013-14 season Buffalo is off to a 1-2 start this season and things aren’t looking good as injury pile up. Even though it’s not the start the fans, players, and coaches were looking for, hopes are still high and everyone knows, “No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.”