When the 2020 NFL schedule was released it appeared the Buffalo Bills would have a difficult path to the playoffs facing the NFC West teams, the Titans (again) and the Kansas City Chiefs. It looked like a significant challenge at the time.
Little did we know as Bills fans what was coming together during the weirdest year in NFL history.
Finishing the season 13-3, a ridiculous desperation pass away from sweeping the NFC West and winning every game against their AFCE rivals for the first time in Bills’ history… just wow. What a regular season it was.
As we move on to the playoffs to face the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday at Bills Stadium, the schedule that once looked cumbersome may now prove to be a blessing in disguise. Micah Hyde refers to the heartbreaking loss to the Arizona Cardinals as a turning point in the season for a team that went on to win the rest of their games with impunity.
McDermott has all the buzz words flowing through the mouths of players who are carrying their resentment of past torment to the next level. He’s created the image of Buffalo as David and “everybody else” as Goliath. The players have embraced the City of Good Neighbors with a call to action. These players get that it’s important to right decades of wrong heaped upon a fan base deserving of a lot more than we have received for our love and loyalty for our beloved team.
By facing a very difficult schedule throughout the season, this Bills team is prepped to take their game to the next level, which they will have to do if they don’t want to be one and done again in the playoffs. Anything can happen, including the Colts going to Buffalo and blowing out the Bills.
However, for the first time in too long to remember, this Bills team fought and scrapped their way through a season facing the best the NFL has to offer and just continued to get better… with a couple of setbacks along the way. It’s no accident Tennessee and Kansas City got the best of the Bills. Both are very solid football teams from top to bottom. The Cardinals loss was a fluke play.
So the Bills got just enough of a taste of losing this season to identify some of their vulnerabilities. They addressed them and are peaking at the right time as they enter the playoffs. Karma seems to be working in their favor as well in terms of setting themselves up for a deep run in the playoffs.
The table is set.
Now it’s time to shine or go home humiliated once again.
For once, this Bills fan is not looking back. Embracing the mathematical reality that past performance is no guarantee of future performance in investing, I apply the same concept to how the Bills will perform in the playoffs.
The Bills might fall flat on their face. They might get to the Super Bowl and lose… again. They might win it all for the first time in their existence. I don’t have a clue what will happen on Saturday against the Colts.
What I do know is that THIS Bills team is not like any other. As McDermott reminds us, each team is different every year. Looking backward, worrying that the past might repeat itself is a recipe for inviting failure.
If you move forward in a state of fear, you rob yourself of the joy experienced along the way in the ride as it is happening. Throw out the messages we’ve told ourselves for decades as ‘lovable losers’.
The good news is this team has faced a mountain of challenges against the best of the best teams in the NFL this season. They are aware of the competition. But best of all, they are not afraid of failure and we shouldn’t be either.
Editor’s babble: One of the few benefits of old age is realizing it’s a waste to expend energy on things you have little or no control over. It’s a matter of survival for us old farts. Being mellow at this time is new territory for me. Maybe it’s early dementia. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.