Another Lost Season

Lost Season.

Words that every Bills fan is sick of.

The countless years of horrible play, bad decisions, and lack of hope has to be wearing on not only the team and the franchise, but the entire city of Buffalo.

I was literally born into the Buffalo Bills. September 4th 1991, right in the middle of the Bills four Super Bowl run that showed some of the best players the franchise has ever seen on the best teams. Kelly, Thomas, Reed, Smith. These names all symbolise a time when a NFL fan would talk about the Bills and not do it while laughing. Actually winning games, making the playoffs and being a all around successful franchise.

Oh how far we are from those days.

As I sit watching the “highlights” from another Buffalo loss this time to the Tennessee Titans, I witness another precious season slip away into the black hole that is a 5-11 or a 6-10 record where the Bills have virtually lived in for more than a decade.

One of the main reasons the Bills have not found any success since the 90’s is the instability at Quarter Back. Todd Collins, Doug Flutie, Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsow, Kelly Holcomb, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards. Just a few of the names that have been thrown into the Bills Quarter Back mess over the years, none of them having a lot of success.

Being as young as I was when the Bills were in there prime, I can’t remember anything about the seasons and the teams. So my only real memory of the Bills in the playoffs is in the 1999 playoffs against the Tennessee Titans. I don’t remember a lot about the game it starts with a kickoff, a couple laterals, and my dad putting the remote through the wall. How’s that for your only playoff memory of your team.

Watching the Bills attempt to keep up in the NFL for the past 11 years has been painful to say the least. The Bills records over the past 11 seasons have been the most frustrating kind of poor. When a team is not bad enough to break everything down and start rebuilding but not good enough to contend for a playoff birth each year. In 2000 they went 8-8, 2001 3-13, 2002 8-8, 2003 6-10, 2004 9-7, 2005 5-11, the list goes on and on and on for years now with no sign of stopping. This current season looks to be heading in this current trend as well.

What makes this season sting more than a lot of the other ones is how surprisingly well the team started out of the gate playing. They had a confidence and a swagger that I had never seen the Bills have before. They believed they can and should beat the teams that they were playing. They even broke the 15 game losing streak to the hated New England Patriots that spanned 8 years. The offense was flying all over the field, lighting up the scoreboard putting up video game numbers. All while the defense was creating turnovers and doing just enough to keep the team in the game. Coming back from consecutive 18 plus point deficits the Bills got off to a 5-2 start and at one point of the season controlled their own destiny getting back into the playoffs. The Bills and their fans were riding high but everyone involved with the Bills has to have a little voice in their heads warning them to always expect bad things to happen.

One recent season that started like this one was the 2008 season when the Bills started out 5-1 and looked like a actual playoff team. Trent Edwards was playing very good and the defense was playing extremely well. The team has given Bills fans hope again and a reason to really get invested in the team. The teams fast start impressed the head office of the Bills enough to give then head coach Dick Jauron a contract extension. But as quickly as their success came to them is faded just as fast. The Bills went 2-8 in their final 10 games of the season and finished 7-9 for the third consecutive year. But most importantly missed the playoffs again.

So now here we are in 2011. The Bills start the season 5-2 and they look like a possible playoff team. And once again as fast as the success started it faded away. The Bills have lost 5 straight games after the 5-2 start, 4 of the 5 to teams fighting to get into the playoffs, and now own a 5-7 record. Yet again heading towards a 5-11 or 6-10 season.

What is the reason for this teams constant disappointment?

Injurys?

Bad signings?

A curse?

Or could it just be luck?

Each year it seems to be one of these things that is holding the Bills back, keeping them away from returning to the glory days that seem so long ago.

Now I know that the 2011 season is not over for the Bills, they still have a outside chance of making the postseason even if it is a big longshot, but being a fan of this team for 20 years now I have a constant feeling about the Bills.

Hope for the best, but always expect the worst.

by Andrew Isaac

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