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The Buffalo Bills find themselves in a very interesting position. After only one week of the 2008 NFL season, they are now being tagged by many as the favorite to win the AFC East division crown, by virtue of Tom Brady’s quick and unexpected exit.
Just a week ago, most fans would give the Bills a bit of credit, putting them at second place in a division that clearly belonged to the Patriots. That was a decent acknowledgment of the Bills’ potential, but other than me, I can’t remember anyone saying (publicly) that the Bills even had a chance at the division title. Some have even said that just by adding Favre, the Jets are in the race, and could finish the season in that far away, distant – almost consolation – second place spot.
While, as a Bills fan, I appreciate the collective nod that the media pundits are giving us (as an aside… can we all PLEASE agree that the word is pundit, not PUNDANT or PUNDINT?!!) I would also like to throw out this bit of rational caution.
One man does not a football team make.
Yes, Brady is something like 100-27 in his ridiculously (perhaps illegitimate… video gate?) career as a starter for the Pats. And yes, he has led them to many Super Bowls and division and conference titles. Definitely a key piece of the puzzle. But I think we might want to slow down here a bit before just handing the Bills the title. There is still a lot to prove on their end.
The other piece of this is that the Bills just shellacked the Seahawks, 34-10, in their opener. It was close for a while, but then the wheels fell off in the third quarter for the Seahawks. (Thanks in large part to good play-calling, and execution, from the Bills.) They really looked great on all sides of the ball. Defense and special teams were stellar, and after a slow start offensively, Edwards and gang picked it up and scored 20 points themselves.
So the Bills looked great against one of the top NFC teams (presumably so) and their nemesis, Tom Brady, is now out for the year. (My bold prediction that the Bills would beat the Pats twice this year is looking a little less bold…) And now the Bills are the “favorites”.
All I gotta say is, back to back 7-9 seasons… Dick Jauron has only had one winning season ever… lots of young players… unproven should be the banner over the tunnel entrance to the stadium for the Bills. There are just too many questions to slap them up there at the top.
But I must admit it’s kind of fun, as a long-time Bills fan. Nice to see our team getting some respect again.
They started to earn it this week against Seattle, and it continues next week in Jacksonville. That’s going to be a stiffer test for our run defense, as well as our offense. Jags will be hungry, and we are “UNPROVEN.”
Time to start proving.