Post Football Therapy  


Post Football Therapy: Buffalo Bills


I don't know, Bills fans; is there really anything to be excited for in 2015? Any reason you should have optimism for the coming year? I seem to remember some news story from earlier this year, but what was it again?

Oh, that's right.

I know, I know. I'm prone to hyperbole at times. Because I believe if you scroll through my Twitter timeline, you might find a tweet where I said Mike Trout should be baseball's first $1 billion player. But you know what, I still feel that way about Trout. And I still believe this is an amazing partnership for Buffalo and Rex Ryan. You need to give credit to new owner Terry Pegula for a) keeping the team in Buffalo where it belongs and b) making this great hire for Buffalo in the wake of the Doug Marrone unpleasantness. This was a perfect fit for Buffalo.

Post Football Therapy

The 2014 season is in the books. For many fans, it was a rough one to watch. To help leave that season behind, we've got some reasons why 2015 will be a much better year for those teams that were left licking their wounds instead of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

Although, I'll be perfectly honest, I've never been to Buffalo. I imagine it's awesome. Any place that invented the Buffalo wing can't be all that bad. But I do know Bills fans. I had Chargers season tickets during the 2000s and the Bills came to town in 2005 for a game. The Bills Mafia had this huge tailgate party outside of Jack Murphy Stadium before the game. Like completely took over this one section. This isn't unusual for San Diego. A lot of people relocate to SD because it's awesome and they are tired of the snow. And not all of the opposing fans are cool. Actually, most aren't. But the Bills fans certainly were. My new bride Rosie McGee wandered over to their tailgate party because that's what we do, plus this dude had a Fred Flinstone Water Buffalo Lodge hat like this one and I had to try it on. And the fans couldn't have been more gracious. We had free food (lots), played some Beirut (lots) and that one dude was even willing to let me walk away with his hat. Which is kind of gross to think about.

And I would imagine Rex also being the kind of guy who would take to this crowd like a duck takes to water. The Bills fans are good people, the work-hard, play-hard variety. The kind of people who don't back down from anything. Rex is the same way. He immediately stepped into the Jets coaching gig and went after Bill Belichick. I know it might look bad now, but isn't that what you want from your head coach? You want a coach who isn't afraid to go after the big dog. You want the guy who wants to be king. The kind of guy who will circle the wagons! (Sorry, I couldn't resist going there.)

Oh, man, this is going to be awesome. I can just picture Rex working feverishly late into the night with a plate of empty wings (baked, not fried because he's got a refined figure now) by his side as he dreams of new ways to harangue the quarterbacks of the AFC East. (Seriously, sorry about your luck, Geno Smith. I have a feeling Rex is going to make it mighty painful for you two times a year. You might want to plan your sick leave for those two weeks.)

Because that's where Rex makes his mark, with the defense and he's inheriting a pretty good one in Buffalo. Although, inheriting might be a bit misleading. The guy who laid down the foundation for this current defense, Mike Pettine, served under Ryan in New York. So, this is all part of the family. Wait, then maybe inheriting is the right word since it's all part of the family, right? But enough about the semantics. The Bills finished fourth in total defense last year, ninth in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) if you read the Football Outsiders (which you should). So, the defense is going to be money.

And we all know what Ryan did with a stellar defense his first couple of years. He got his team all the way to the AFC Championship Game with an inexperienced quarterback. Which is good, because quarterback is going to be kind of the sticking point for the Bills again this season. The team has kicked the tires on a number of guys from Sam Bradford (maybe) to Josh McCown. Odds are the team will end up with a journeyman, but that's cool (but don't sleep on a second-round selection like Garrett Grayson or Brett Hundley). The defense is what is going to make this team special and get them to where it needs to be.

Plus, you also have some nice offensive pieces with the ageless Fred Jackson, Sammy Watkins and even C.J. Spiller, who seems to be down with Rex. So, I wouldn't sweat it, Buffalo. You are certainly in good hands for the upcoming season. In fact, I'm going to predict you go to the playoffs. And when you look at Rex's record in the postseason, I like your chances for a long, extended run.

And if I ever do get out to a game, can I borrow one of those Water Buffalo Lodge hats?

If you like beer, wings and wrestling, then @adamrank is your man. You should follow him on Twitter.



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