2015: Just Another Roller Coaster Ride of a Year for Bills Fans
I have been saying for many years that each Buffalo Bills season ends up being an emotional roller coaster ride for me. There are always many peaks and troughs throughout each season. 2015 was no different for the Buffalo Bills and my fragile emotions. When reflecting back on the season I decided to chart out how confident I felt about the 2015 team from week to week just to see how rough of a roller coaster ride it was. As you can see in the below picture my emotions throughout the season were even more volatile than the stock market.
Preseason - Generally optimistic about the team. I feel the team has one of the most talented rosters in a long time. Didn't love the Rex hire but he is now their coach and so I am fully on board supporting him and the Bills.
Week 1 - The Bills look unstoppable. They just crushed the Indianapolis Colts in a one sided performance. The Colts made the playoffs the prior season winning 11 games and the Bills defense looked great. Haven't booked Superbowltickets yet but going to need to soon. BUF 27 - IND 14.
Week 2 - I expected to lose to the Patriots but it doesn't make it hurt any less. I cannot wait for Tom Brady to retire. If you told me the Bills would be 1-1 after playing the Colts and Patriots in the first two weeks I would have taken that in preseason. NE 40 - BUF 32.
Week 3 - The Bills looked vastly superior to the Miami Dolphins and my confidence in the team is restored. I look back at last weeks loss as a minor blip on the way to the Bills first playoff season in 15 years. BUF 41- MIA 14.
Week 4 - And the roller coaster ride begins. The Bills played a very sloppy and disappointing game losing to the Giants. The offense played bad and penalties negated two of the Bills touchdowns in the game. There was no question in my mind the Bills were the more talented team but they did not execute. NYG 24 - BUF 10.
Week 5 - The Bills barely escaped with a victory against Tennessee which was willed by Tyrod Taylor's legs in the 4th quarter. I am starting to grow concerned about the team at this point but good teams win ugly games from time to time so for now I will look past their up and down performance in 2015. BUF 14 - TEN 13.
Week 6 - The Bills got severely outplayed by the Bengals all game but EJ Manuel was at the helm so can't fault the team entirely. The Bengals after the win were 6-0 and looking like one of the best teams in the NFL. At this point the Bills are 3-3 but two of their losses are against undefeated teams which has me feeling slightly optimistic. CIN 34 - BUF 21.
Week 7 - EJ Manuel did everything in his power to lose this game. He then somehow managed to pull the team ahead only to have the defense unable to come up with a big stop at the end giving Jacksonville the win. I don't know if it was because I having beers at 9am since this game was played in London but this game hurt more than normal. EJ's big mistakes early, then pulling the team back ahead, and then eventually losing was way too much for me to handle in one day. JAC 34 - BUF 31.
Week 8 - Bye week. Favorite week of the year. Bills are undefeated and I can watch the rest of the games in peace without having to worry about my beloved Bills.
Week 9 - Another game against the Dolphins and another dominating performance. I am not certain about many things in life but at this point I am certain the 2015 Buffalo Bills are way better than the 2015 Miami Dolphins. I am starting to feel more positive about this team coming off the bye week with a win and with Tyrod's return to the lineup. BUF 33 - MIA 17.
Week 10 - Despite almost losing in the end due to a botched snap on a punt, the Bills were able to eke out a win versus Rex Ryan's former team the New York Jets. With two straight wins the season is starting to feel like it's back on track and playoff hopes are really starting to build. Let's just hope they don't play the Patriots next week. BUF 22 - NYJ 17.
Week 11 - God dammit. Just when the season was starting to get back on track the Bills had to have a game scheduled against the Patriots. Tom Brady and the Pats did what they normally do which is beat the Buffalo Bills. I did take some solace in the fact that the Bills defense was able to confuse Brady and get hits on him all game long but for me there are no moral victories when it comes to Bills vs Pats. Either beat them and I will be ecstatic or lose and I will be miserable. I was miserable. NE 20 - BUF 13.
Week 12 - Last week the Bills made Tom Brady look like Alex Smith and this week they made Alex Smith look like Tom Brady. I never once worried about getting beat over the top by an Alex Smith throw and apparently neither did the Bills. Their playoff chances took a big hit with this loss and I am not happy at all. Bah humbug. KC 30 - BUF 22.
Week 13 - With a victory against the Houston Texans the Bills are back to .500 for the season. The Bills record should be better but I am optimistic with three upcoming games against NFC East teams, one of the worst divisions in football. BUF 30 - HOU 21.
Week 14 - This one was a close game throughout but in the end the Bills ended up beating themselves versus thePhiladelphia Eagles with 15 penalties. Playoff bound teams usually don't beat themselves too often but the Bills have done that on more than one occasion this season. Playoff chances are very slim at this point but they are not mathematically eliminated yet. PHI 23 - BUF 20.
Week 15 - Washington is playing much better than earlier on in the season and Kirk Cousins is playing well. Kirk had the game of his life and Washington made it look easy against the Bills. Buffalo never seemed to even have a chance in this one. WAS 35 - BUF 25.
Week 16 - The Bills beat a terrible Dallas team that was missing both Dez Bryant and Tony Romo. Even with the Bills victory I wasn't feeling to great about beating a Dallas team quarterbacked by Kellen Moore by only 10 points. BUF 16 - DAL 6.
Week 17 - While the Bills season did not work out nearly as well as I had hoped, it still felt fantastic to deny the Jets a chance at making the playoffs. It's also nice to end the season on a high note. BUF 22 - NYJ 17.
Offseason - I am still feeling great about the Jets not being in the playoffs. Based on some comments in interviews and press conferences Rex seems to finally understand that he should not promise things he can't deliver which was always one of my biggest pet peeves with him. I feel like another year in this system with a few personnel tweaks and the Buffalo Bills should have a decent shot at the playoffs next season although I know better than to count on that.
Thank you for taking the journey with me through the Buffalo Bills 2015 season from my perspective. Like I said it was one hell of a emotional roller coaster ride which is the way it always seems to be but I wouldn't trade the ups and downs for anything in the world. That's why I love this sport and that's why I love this team. GO BILLS!