We all saw it. 14 straight passing plays and not a single rush by Freddie or CJ. Lindell shanked a Field Goal from 22 yards. The white collars on the uniforms are hideous. RG3 posts ONE good drive on us, and we’ll have to watch it circulate on every major sports network for a week. 6 total points in a loss to the Redskins, preseason or no, is hard to swallow.
That isn’t to say we didn’t have a lot of positives on Thursday as well. The new D-Line looked phenomenal, our special teams were spot-on, and rookie Ron Brooks stood out as one of many bright spots on the depth chart. Depth on defense is, in my opinion, one of the biggest improvements to the Buffalo Bills this year. Plus, hey, it’s Preseason Week 1. The offense will get it together. In my best A.I. voice: “We talkin’ bout Preseason, man. Preseason.”
If you are an active member of the #BillsMafia on social media, however, you may have noticed a lot of fans “on the ledge” on Thursday night, and like a FAMbase we talked them back. It’s understandable, with fans as passionate as ours, to see this kind of reaction to a Week 1 Preseason Game. We want this team to succeed. We expect it to succeed, every year, no matter what the analysts and talking heads say. From our most delusional optimist to our most dejected realist, deep down every Bills fan is hoping that this is our year, this is the one where we win it all, against all odds. This is why, as Bills fans, we are familiar with that infamous Ledge (with a capital L). Great expectations can lead to great disappointment. Remember when Trent Edwards was our guy? Or J.P. Losman? When this Super Bowl was the one we were gonna win, unlike those last three? Over the years we’ve all traveled to that Ledge at one time or another. We’ve got a time-share on a condo there. It’s a little piece of home for us.
I love the big hopes that we have for our team, but we’ve got to face the simple fact that we will likely encounter the Ledge again this year. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Bills can post 11 wins this season and head to the playoffs with a full head of steam. That said this year might start slow. We’ve made a lot of changes, Fitz is learning new mechanics, and we’re switching back (thankfully) to the 4-3. With all these changes, and a front-heavy schedule, we may see ourselves heading into Week 10 at the Patriots with a 4-4 record. Every sportscaster will be condemning us to another rebuilding year. Some may suggest Fitzpatrick isn’t the answer. A lot of Bills Mafia may be buying land at the Ledge if that were to occur, but I would urge them against it. Stick with this team and hang on for the ride. You may notice that after our visit to New England, we don’t face a team with a 2011 winning record for the rest of the year. The stars are aligned for a thrilling, out of the blue, comeback playoff berth that sets our hearts on fire to keep us warm as January approaches. From there, who knows what could happen.
So let’s embrace the Ledge, Bills Mafia. It’s part of our identity. It’s a place we visit from time to time, it gives us perspective, and then we step back and cheer even harder for the team that is lodged firmly in our hearts, beating that red-white-and-blue blood.
This is, after all, our year.
See you on Friday.