Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 12/17/11

If any of you have read my previous four Buffalo Bills articles, you would know I have about as much of grasp on this year’s Bills team as anyone or no one in football.  Each article shifted from low expectations before training camp to showing promise before the season started to a surprising potential as they played the first few games of the season. 

Then at the bye week the Bills started showing signs of slipping, to where we are sorry to see them free falling like they have the past ten seasons. The initial projections were 3-13 to 5-11, trying to catch the Dolphins for third behind the Patriots and Jets. 

The team had not gotten the quarterback they had hoped for in the draft, but did find ways to build their defense with the first four picks of the draft starting with the #3 overall selection DT Marcell Dareus from Alabama.  The new players brought speed and some depth to a unit that last year that was run against feely.

After the pre-season the offense showed signs with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Fred Jackson and WR Steve Johnson leading a rejuvenated group that showed it could score points and keep them in the game, if the defense improved.  The 1-3 preseason record was misleading as they were in all three games with the defense playing a lot better only giving up 50 points in the losses.  The one win was a shootout with Jacksonville as the Bills were up 17 – 0, then got behind 32 – 17, and then did something they would do more in the regular season by coming back to tie the game with 38 seconds late and winning it OT, 35 -32.

The season started very promising winning four of their first five games, three of victories by seven or less.  After their opening blowout against Kansas City the fourth quarters had the exciting action as they won two comebacks against Oakland, New England and then held off the Philadelphia Eagles for wins, but losses the same way to Cincinnati and the NY Giants with a late field goal as time expired and with 1:32 the same respectively.  They went into the break 4 – 2 in second place a game behind the Patriots, with some good stories with Jackson as one of the top rushers in the NFL and the defense was near the top in turnover margin.

Before the first snap after the break the Bills put their hopes in QB Ryan Fitzpatrick as they signed him to a long term deal for six years and $58 million dollars and allowed them to concentrate on other areas of the team in next year’s draft or free agency.

The team started off the second half shutting out the Washington Redskins 23 – 0, but that would be the last win they have so far this season as they would lose the next six games.  Buffalo started the losing streak with a very physical battle against the Jets, which I feel was the beginning of the end.  Then they suffered two embarrassing blowouts to Dallas and Miami being outscored 56-8 in the first half.  The Dolphins loss was even more painful as they lost leading rusher Jackson for the season and wide receivers Donald Jones and Terrence McGee, who were carted off the field.  The Bills had chances in the next two games but lost both in close games against the Jets and Titans before last week’s lopsided loss to San Diego.

The Bills sit at 5 – 8 and play a team in the same situation as they are in Miami at home.  The Bills are fading fast and need to find a way to break free in this game see and salvage something for this season.  They have three games left against the Dolphins and Broncos at home before going on the road to play New England.  The Dolphins just fired their coach and could be ripe for a win, so let’s see what Fitzpatrick, Johnson and the defense is made of.  I have had hope in them at points during the season, so call me Chris Berman and pick the Bills to beat Miami.

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