Over the course of every Buffalo Bills season, there are many highs and many lows. The roller coaster of emotion fans experience during the year is part of what makes sports so special. Each week, I take my own temperature as to how I'm feeling about the Bills to document what it's like being a fan of the team. I rated my overall happiness on a scale of 0 to 10 after the result of each game and below I give a short reason as to why I felt that way at the time.
Preseason - 5 out of 10
Originally heading into the season I was feeling a 6 (not expecting playoffs but certainly not expecting the tank either). However, the trade of Sammy Watkins left me butt hurt, knocking me down to a 5 out of 10.
Week 1 Home against Jets - 6.5 out of 10 (win)
The Buffalo Bills beat the Jets but it's hard to feel great about beating a franchise whose former players can't properly lead their own chants or spell for that matter. Despite the weak opponent, it's a win to start off the Sean McDermott era and that feels nice.
Week 2 - Away against Panthers - 5.5 out of 10 (loss)
I was not expecting the Bills to beat the Panthers on the road, but this loss stung a bit extra after watching Zay Jones drop a ball which could have won the Bills the game.
Week 3 - Home against Broncos - 7 out of 10 (win)
After the Bills beat the Broncos, I let my hopes rise faster than I should have. The Bills' defense looked completely rejuvenated by the new coaches and scheme. Thoughts like "could this team be real?" started to swirl through my warped brain.
Week 4 - Away against Falcons - 9 out of 10 (win)
After beating the Falcons the Bills look extremely impressive. Their last three games were against teams that played in the previous two Super Bowls and their record was 2-1 in those games. It's official, the Bills are clearly going to win the Super Bowl this year.
Week 5 - Away against Bengals - 6.5 out of 10 (loss)
Alright, maybe the Bills won't be winning the Super Bowl this year. The loss to the Bengals brought me back down to earth. The Bills now find themselves in a three-way with the Jets and Patriots for the division lead. Yuck.
Week 6 - Bye Week - 7 out of 10
After having time to digest last weeks loss, my optimism grew slightly as I looked over the rest of the schedule and certain games that seemed tough at first, no longer seemed as tough as I originally thought.
Week 7 - Home against Buccaneers - 8 out of 10 (win)
It wasn't their best game but the Bills rallied to get a late victory against the Buccaneers. They have a lot of things to clean up, but at 4-2 I'm starting to wonder if this team really might be able to make a push for the playoffs. At the same time, my wife is starting to wonder why I continually do this to myself.
Week 8 - Home against Raiders - 9 out of 10 (win)
After beating the Raiders, ain't no mountain high enough to meet my expectations for the Bills at this point in the season. They move on to 5-2 and I'm easily "rationalizing" away their prior losses while ignoring the flaws that still exist on the roster. They've now beaten pirates in the past two weeks, who's up next week Johnny Depp?
Week 9 - Away against Jets - 6.5 out of 10 (loss)
I might have been a 9.5 coming into the game after the Bills traded for Kelvin Benjamin but he did not play this week and neither did the Bills. They came out flat against the Jets and got beat up on a Thursday night while I punished my liver in solidarity.
Week 10 - Home against Saints - 5 out of 10 (loss)
Losing to the Jets the prior week was bad, but watching the Saints run the ball down the Bills throat all day was completely sickening. Things got so out of hand Tyrod Taylor was replaced and would eventually lose his starting job the following week to Nathan Peterman. At least things couldn't get worse for the offense, right? WRONG!
Week 11 - Away against Chargers - 2 out of 10 (loss)
Peterman's first start was a disaster. He ended up throwing five interceptions in the first half as the Bills let the game completely get away from them. At halftime they finally showed mercy taking out Peterman in favor of Tyrod. This decision became a national punchline for pundits leaving me wanting to take a long swim in a pool filled with Jack Daniels.
Week 12 - Away against Chiefs - 5 out of 10 (win)
This game was ugly but the Bills gutted out a 16-10 win as McDermott beat his mentor Andy Reid to put a stop to the teams three game losing streak. The victory kept both the Bills playoff hopes and my own sanity alive.
Week 13 - Home against Patriots - 4 out of 10 (loss)
For the most part when the Bills play the Patriots I feel like I'm watching the same script. The Bills usually hang around for a half or three quarters before the Pats put the pedal to the metal and cruise to victory. This week was no different, but the loss still ground my gears as a win would have drastically increased the Bills playoff odds.
Week 14 - Home against Colts - 6 out of 10 (win)
In a game that was played during a snowpocolypse, the Bills and their workhorse, Shady McCoy, were able to gallop past the Colts in overtime, squeaking out a victory in extremely tough conditions.
Week 15 - Home against Dolphins - 8 out of 10 (win)
With three weeks left in the season, it's pretty clear the Bills will need to filet the fish both times they play them in the next three weeks if they want to have any shot at the playoffs. They prepared their first course of fish to perfection leaving them with their best shot at making the playoffs in years.
Week 16 - Away against Patriots - 7 out of 10 (loss)
In a near repeat of week 13, the Bills hung around for much of the game before a couple highly questionable calls by the referees helped tilt the game in the Patriots favor and they never looked back. The Bills playoff hopes are still alive but God I hate the Patriots.
Week 17 - Away against Dolphins - 10 out of 10 (win)
The Bills beat the Dolphins but still needed some help to make the playoffs. Thanks to the second greatest quarterback in Buffalo Bills history, Andy Dalton, the Bengals beat the Ravens and the Bills finally ended their streak of not making the playoffs. That's right! THE BILLS MADE THE PLAYOFFS! 17 years of pain is over! (I swear I'm not crying...anymore)
Week 18 (Wildcard Weekend) Away against Jaguars - 8.5 out of 10 (loss)
The Bills lost what was a very winnable playoff game. Both offenses stunk but the real stink of 17 years of playoff misses is gone and so today is no reason to mourn. The Bills shed the monkey off their backs which will lighten their burden heading into future seasons. I haven't felt this good at the end of a football season in years. Somebody pinch me! (but not really because that hurts!)