The Runner Sports

Buffalo Bills: Change The Record, Please

So I received the below email from a friend of mine last Friday before the the Buffalo Bills played the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday:

“As a Bills fan since I was in diapers, I have seen this story play out before. I fully expect the Bills to lose this week, then come out flat after the bye week and lose again. Then we are sitting at 3-3 and everyone is calling for Tyrod (Taylor) to be benched. (Micah) Hyde and (Jordan) Pryor get hurt in a freak basketball accident during the bye week and (LeSean) McCoy will retire. The Bills will finish 5-11, just good enough to not get the QB of the future in the draft.”

Well, he was right, The Buffalo Bills lost 20-16 on Sunday. Monday morning I turn on WGR550, the local Bills radio station, and hear this from nearly every caller; “Tyrod is the worst. He lost us that game. It is all his fault. He needs to be benched!”

Right on cue, the Bills fan base has dusted off the old record player and played the same song that has been played over and over since the year 2000. It is a really catchy tune called “Our QB is the worst, put in the backup!”

No one denies that the Bills have been without a franchise QB for the entire 17 years of the playoff drought. After two seasons and five games, it appears Tyrod Taylor is also not a franchise QB. I, myself have been very critical of Taylor and wasn’t a fan of him winning the starting job back in 2015. The NFL is clearly a passing league. Can you name a running QB who has won a Super Bowl in this century? I didn’t see the advantage of starting an exceptional running QB who doesn’t turn the ball over, but also is average at best in throwing. I am even a bit of a hypocrite as I called for Tyrod to be benched after the Carolina game.

With all that being said, in no way shape or form should the coaching staff make a change at QB during this bye week. Ok, go ahead and ask the hypocrite why I am not echoing the opinion of the majority of Bills fans after this latest loss. It is because they are in 1st place in the AFC East and tied for 2nd in the AFC overall. It is because the defense is playing lights out. Bengals WR AJ Green had a huge game on Sunday accounting for 189 yards received and a touchdown. Even with this big outing, Buffalo’s defense still held Cincinnati to just 20 points, picked off 2 passes and recovered a fumble. Buffalo’s two losses were both by one score and Tyrod and the offense had chances to win both games. They could be 5-0 right now. Guess what else, Tyrod could have screwed up both the Denver and Atlanta games and lost those games. That would put them at 1-4 right now.

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Tyrod Taylor is what he is. The loss to Cincinnati was not his fault. This is a self-proclaimed running team. They live or die by the run. Well, the run game has been almost non-existent since Week 1. On top of this, there wasn’t one starting caliber pass catcher on the field after the first quarter on Sunday. The odds were clearly stacked against Taylor, and yes he didn’t play well himself, but he also had no help on offense.

Taylor is the best QB on the Bills roster. Fans have been clamoring since the Bengals loss to put in Nathan Peterman. I have heard several people argue that Peterman is better because his stats in the preseason were better than Taylor’s. I’m sorry, but 54.4% completion percentage and just 1 touchdown against mostly 2nd/3rd string defenses doesn’t exactly scream that Peterman is ready to start in the NFL.

Another reason I think Taylor is the best QB and option for the Bills is that their head coach is Sean McDermott and their general manager is Brandon Beane. If they have taught us anything in their first season in charge, it is that they don’t care about football politics, or what your salary is. The best and/or right players will play. They have proven this time and time again. Just look at the trading away of Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby, or the limited playing time of Marcell Dareus, who is the highest paid player on the roster. Remember that both McDermott and Beane said they wanted to build this team through the draft. Well, they drafted Peterman and inherited Taylor, and look who’s starting. We are not at the practices, or in the meetings, nor are we in the film room. If Peterman were ready to start, I have no doubt this staff would put him in.

So after Week 5, the Buffalo Bills sit in first place in their division and share 2nd place in their conference. The defense is one of, if not the best, in the NFL. In my opinion, they are way ahead of schedule in coach McDermott’s plan of building a championship team. One would think that this season has been a huge success so far, but if you turn on the radio and listen to the fans calling in, or read comments made on social media, you would think Buffalo’s season was over and they were 0-5. This is all because they lost their latest game.

I say the Buffalo Bills and fans take that old record player and record and smash them. I say the team and fans should be pumped that the defense has played elite every single game. I say the fan base “Shouts!” because Buffalo is 3-2 with one of the harder schedules in the league and only lost by one score in both losses. Who’s with me?! On 3 everybody shout “Let’s Go Buffalo!” Ready, 1, 2, 3….

John Mion

I've been living in Buffalo for 23 years. I love everything Western New York, especially their sports teams. I am an avid jock who started playing sports within minutes of showing up in this world. I have been a player and coach at many levels, which allows me to bring a unique perspective in my writing. Follow me on Twitter and I look forward to discussing sports with you!

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