I put a lot of stock in being able to judge people whenever adversity hits them. You can tell a lot from people when the sh^t hits the fan. So, after yesterday's game, you can tell that some Bills fans really started hitting the wall with this team. People started going off on Stevie Johnson, which I gave my opinion about yesterday. Then, people and some in the media, started to act very irrational about the progress that this team was making. "Oh, this team is the same as last year. They haven't really made much improvement. They aren't even going to get to 6 wins like last year. I'm sick of using losses like this as a building block"...bla, bla, bla.
OK, let me put it mildly: If you think the Bills haven't improved from last year's squad, you either:
A) Don't watch football enough.
B) You're just trying to sell advertising spots for being negative on your media platform.
C) You don't remember last season.
Now, before I give you my opinion about where this team is at in comparison to last year, I'm going to throw you some stats:
2009: The Bills were ranked 30th in total offense.
2010: The Bills are ranked 24th.
2009: The Bills were ranked 28th in points (16.1 ppg).
2010: The Bills are ranked 20th (20.8 ppg).
2009: The Bills were ranked 23rd in touchdown passes (17).
2010: The Bills are tied for 9th (20).
2009: The Bills were ranked 30th in passing yardage (157 ypg).
2010: the Bills are ranked 23rd (208 ypg).
2009: The Bills were ranked 16th in rushing yards (113 ypg).
2010: The Bills are ranked 17th (110 ypg).
2009: The Bills were ranked 28th in sacks allowed (48).
2010: The Bills are ranked 16th (23).
2009: The Bills were ranked 30th against the run (156 ypg).
2010: The Bills are ranked 32nd (167.4 ypg).
2009: The Bills were ranked 18th in sacks (38).
2010: The Bills are ranked 21st (20).
2009: The Bills were ranked 2nd in passing yards given up (183 ypg).
2010: The Bills are ranked 11th (209 ypg).
2009: The combined record of the Bills opponents were 97-95.
2010: The combined record of the Bills opponents are 64-42.
(Do the math: It's 2 games above .500 versus 22 games above that mark).
There are only two stats that are in the wrong column for this year's Bills squad, and those are Wins/losses and interceptions. Plus, you have to put into account the two god awful games that Trent Edwards started. Overall though, the stats don't lie, the Bills have improved since last year, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, and it's kind of surprising, they are kind of on the same pace as last year's squad. They stink against the run, but are slightly above average against the pass.
On a side note, and I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but this team is rebuilding. So, when fans and media members come out and declare that "We have to be more greedy when it comes to wanting more from our football team and not have the mentality of celebrating losers," they obviously don't understand the concept of bottoming out and rebuilding.
Look, I'd be the first to declare that we, as Buffalo fans, don't demand enough from our sports teams. However, when you start at ground zero, and I assure you, that's where we are at with the Bills and this regime, you have to look at it in a tunnel vision way. You have to wonder what this team would do if they get a couple of guys on the defensive side of the ball. Can you imagine what Gailey could do with a franchise QB? This is exactly the kind of blueprint that you want when you are rebuilding. They are getting better as the season goes on and are more than competitive against the better teams in the league. Sorry, but going into this season, I didn't think they could stand toe-to-toe with the Steelers, Ravens and Patriots, but they have. Yes, they have holes that need to be filled. And yes, if they are 2-9 at this time next year, my moral victories rhetoric will probably be thrown out the window. However, as of now, they are where you want them to be in regards to a rebuilding plan.
Back to last year's squad, you have to realize, that team was lucky to win six games. If it weren't for Mark Sanchez and Jake Delhomme throwing 10 interceptions against us, we would have lost those games. Do I even need to go over the game against the Colts B-team? The only positives that came out of last year's squad was how the secondary forced turnovers, Fred Jackson gained a 1,000 yards, and Dick Jauron got fired. This year, we got Stevie Johnson becoming a #1 option, Fitzpatrick closing in on 25 touchdowns, the offensive line gelling, Kyle Williams is a top 10 defensive tackle (Maybe top 5), and Chan Gailey is a hell of a lot better offensive minded coach than what Jauron was with his defense.
Again, it's the first year, and if things don't improve in the win/loss department next year, I'm going to be very upset. I'm not saying 13-3, but a 8-8 or 9-7 record, should be the goal for the 2nd year plan of this regime.