Yes, yes…we heard all off-season from the Buffalo media, fans, even myself, that the Bills were pulling a Sabres and tanking for a high draft pick. But after swinging trade after trade, completely reworking every nook and cranny on this roster, going 5-2 in the first half of the season, and a strong chance to go 6-2 this Thursday night, the Pastors of Process, the Demigods of Defending Dirt, the Titans of Trades, have this team firmly in the conversation of not only being a good team, but being a “Playoff Caliber” team. (see what I did there?)
So where did this begin? Well, it could be when they either cut or let half their squad walk in the off-season. Or perhaps it really began when they blindsided an entire fan base by trading the un-tradeable Sammy Watkins to LA for a 2nd round pick and a talented but oft-injured CB EJ Gaines. Then within the same minute, Bills fans get another text on their phones saying they traded Ronald Darby to the Eagles for a 3rd round pick and WR Jordan Matthews. Then they moved Cardale Jones for a 7th round pick. The purge was in full force as they trimmed and sliced fat off the roster that wasn’t living the “process” life. Fans were freaking out, and national media was too, calling the Bills tankers and people calling for the head of Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott before the season even started.
But something strange happened when the season did start: the Bills started winning. Wait, WHAT? That was deemed not in the cards for this 2017 Buffalo Bills squad, they were supposed to win 4 games max! But they’ve played bend not break defense, pair that with a gazillion turnovers. Their offense has begun to find its rhythm, and McCoy is starting to boogie for over 100yds a game again. Then comes the trade deadline, and that’s where this season and team gets interesting. They trimmed ANOTHER process nonbeliever, and fan favorite example for players that get paid then stop trying; Marcell Dareus gets moved to Jacksonville for a 2018 6th round pick. A former #3 overall pick couldn’t get more than a 6th round pick in return. Talk about how the mighty have fallen. But it just goes to show how committed this regime is to getting any type of locker room cancer or player not giving 100% off the books and out of Buffalo. But like I wrote in my previous article, the Bills shocked the football world when they traded for WR Kelvin Benjamin from Carolina for a measly 3rd and 7th round pick. This flips the original narrative of this season on its head for good: this team is not only NOT tanking, they’re going for it this year.
With a very good chance of going up to 6-2 and 1st place in the AFC East at Week 9 of the NFL season (when is the last time you heard those words?) against a competitive, but still bad NY Jets team, this team not only has the players believing, but even some of the most gun-shy and traumatized Bills fans buying in. Going out and grabbing a #1 receiver like Benjamin just reiterates the fact that McDermott and this Bills team is not messing around this year. And the crazy part is, they can only get better next year with the massive surplus of picks they acquired from the previous trades I mentioned. The Bills are not even a one year wonder; they’e gunning for the big dance this year, as well as next year, and the year after that, and they don’t look like they’e gonna’ take no for an answer. All I can say is that I don’t think the future has ever been so bright for the Buffalo Bills, and I think we’re all itching to find out what else is coming in “The Process”.