Some people are fans of the Buffalo Bills. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Buffalo Bills. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Buffalo Bills
Your 2017 record: 9-7. Aw hell, roll the tape. You guys earned it…
I am deeply cynical, awful man, but even I got emotional watching this franchise—this horrible, miserable, impossibly woebegone franchise—secure their first playoff berth in the 21st century. It was one of those pure, wonderful moments that the NFL seems determined to purge for the sport entirely, and I’m glad (surprised!) to have witnessed it.
Of course, you guys wouldn’t have needed the Bengals (!!!!) to help backdoor you into the playoffs if your coach hadn’t made one of football history’s most sudden, inexplicably stupid moves in the middle of the season…
“As I continually evaluate our roster and our goal to become better, I decided to start Nate Peterman as our quarterback this week.”
I could live 100 years (not likely given my beer intake), and I would never let you people live down the Nathan Peterman Experiment. It equaled the Flutie benching in audacity and topped it in mind-boggling idiocy. Keep in mind that the Bills benched starter Tyrod Taylor on a Wednesday, after they had reaffirmed him as the starter two days earlier. No one knows what changed in between. I just assume Richie Incognito busted into Kim Pegula’s office brandishing a tiki torch that Tuesday.
Anyway, it will not shock you to learn that an unheralded rookie with little practice time and a name as ridiculous as Nathan Peterman tossed five interceptions in his first 14 passes in a 54-24 loss to LA to put the Bills even deeper into the hole. And yet, you guys finally managed to end your playoff drought. My warmest congratulations. Your reward was a wild card beatdown at the hands of Doug Marrone in a game in which Peterman made yet another cameo. You slayed one demon just to invite an even larger one to the kitchen table. That is SO Buffalo. [sitcom laugh track hooting]
What else happened? Oh right, Richie Incognito did something racist on the field and the Bills stood by him. Eric Wood retired with a terrifying, career-ending neck injury and the Bills did NOT stand by him because they were looking to save a few bucks. They defended the run about as well as Rudy Giuliani defends the President. While the team won nine games, its fans remained winless against gravity. The team president got canned for sexual misconduct. Zay Jones got naked. This fan also got naked. These two got married, but were NOT naked.
One couple driving home after a Bills game crashed their car and switched drivers to try to avoid a DWI. Both occupants got a DWI.
Your coach: Camo-hat humper Sean McDermott. This man is a mystery to me. One second, he’s holding intensely intimate meetings with players and having them bare their souls to one another, which makes sense on some level because Buffalo itself is like if you made a whole city out of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Players need to cope, and I salute McDermott for recognizing that. But then he handles his own QB situation with all the gracefulness of a fucking Twitter executive. His team also tried to trademark Respect The Process, because trademarks win championships. Which Sean McDermott am I REALLY getting? Thankfully, I think I’ve sorted out the answer…
Your quarterback: Once again, congratulations are in order, because the Bills finally got their wish of having a shitty white guy at quarterback again. HOORAY! Your long nightmare of Tyrod Taylor’s conservative competence is finally over. Here was a player whom the Bills had fucked over for years, and yet he remained composed and professional enough to deliver them their first playoff game in two fucking decades. Tyrod Taylor’s reward for all that was a one-way ticket to Cleveland. These fans approve…
Taylor has since been replaced by a mayo salad of Peterman (still there!), former Bengal AJ McCarron, and rookie Josh Allen. McCarron once opened a racist sushi restaurant. Allen once tweeted this:
Again, these fans approve. Anyway, Josh Allen is the answer to the question, “Hey, what if Carson Wentz was fucking terrible?” Let’s have a look.
Oh, that is just sublime. You can basically burn all relevant portions of a scouting report and get away with it in Buffalo so long as you can tell your fans “THIS BOY IS COUNTRY STRONG!” It’s like the Bills openly despise the notion of hope. How Josh Allen avoided becoming a New York Jet, we’ll never know. Anyway, the Bills’ initial plan was to start McCarron until he either got hurt or sucked badly enough for them to feed Allen into the wood chipper. Lucky for you, the former has already come to pass. You’re in for an entire season of that one Nathan Peterman game. I’ve seen the preseason hype about Allen. ALL LIES. I’m no sucker.
What’s new that sucks: Why do you people keep trading for other team’s failed wideouts? A year after the Bills traded for handless blimp Kelvin Benjamin, they turn right around and grab Corey Coleman out of Cleveland. It’s baffling. All Coleman does is get hurt. All Benjamin does is eat, bitch about Cam Newton, and have touchdown catches overturned. And those are the two BEST wideouts on the roster. They also have Andre Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, and Rod Streater, whose name sounds like an amalgamation of every wideout to ever play for Al Davis. These players ALL suck. Thankfully, the Bills are designed to be more of a running team anyway, so let’s check in with their bellcow back.
Oh. For those of you just joining us, LeSean McCoy is currently under investigation for possibly hiring a goon to break into his ex-girlfriend’s house to assault her and steal back some of his jewelry. It’s like the Rae Carruth case and the Ray Rice case all in one, so that’s a fun little time bomb that’s set to go off sometime around, oh, let’s say Columbus Day, just to be WACKY. You gotta work hard to be the most disgraced running back in Bills history, but LeSean might be gunning for it.
What has always sucked: You had one year, Buffalo… one somewhat pleasant year of winning football. But it’s over now. Maybe you’ll make another playoff cameo in 2038, but until then it’s gonna be another endless dogsled march across a vast plain of frozen turds. McCarron is shitty and hurt. Josh Allen is gonna make Nathan Peterman somehow look appetizing again. The Bills still haven’t scored a touchdown in a playoff game in 22 years.
At this point, the whole #BillsMafia thing is like watching a decrepit rock band from the 70s still try to tour. It’s played out and everyone involved is sad and drunk and near death. Buffalo itself is just warehouses full of Labatt blue and people pissing on snow banks. There’s a subway that runs under a single street and that represents the apex of that city’s modernity. Buffalo is like if Detroit collapsed but no one cared. It’s what Pittsburgh would’ve been if Pittsburgh never admitted that steel was over.
Everyone there is legally obligated to be married by age 20. It’s a Canadian city, minus all the things that make Canada nice. All the hell of Canadian winter and all the economic despair of the Rust Belt! YAY! Honestly, Buffalo should be kicked out of New York State and made an honorary part of Ohio. This team STILL doesn’t have a decent stadium and has threatened to move to Canada more often than Alec Baldwin. Elastic is an even greater enemy of this fanbase than Colin Kaepernick. The Goo Goo Dolls are still around somehow.
God, it’s all so depressing.
What might not suck: Nothing! You just threw away a playoff season for a five-year rebuild featuring a dipshit Wyoming racist! YOU DO IT TO YOURSELVES, BUFFALO.
Let’s remember a guy who sucked: Cleveland aside, I dare you to find a team with a worse draft record this century. Remember John McCargo, man? McCargo was an actual player they drafted, and NOT a CBS primetime show. He played for six years and got 2.5 sacks. The only good draft choices the Bills have made this century are players who skipped town to do all their best work for other teams.
HEAR IT FROM BILLS FANS!
You know that Jimmy Haslam laughing GIF Deadspin uses in pretty much every post that mocks the Browns? Yeah, check the score in that GIF.
Blake Bortles beat us with 87 yards passing. I waited 18 years for that. What a ride.
The Bills bar where I watched that terrible playoff game ran out of Labatts at 1:10pm and Molson at 1:15pm.
Andy Dalton is responsible for the happiest memory of the Bills. Andy Dalton doesn’t play for the Bills.
In Hawaii’s third game of 2017, Josh Rosen completed 22 of 25 passes for 329 yards and 5 TDs. Rosen sat out the final 11:40 of the game.
In Hawaii’s fourth game of 2017, Josh Allen completed 8 of 18 passes for 67 yards and 0 TDs in regulation.
My partner had never been to a Bills game until we went, along with both of our fathers, to watch the Bills’ worst home loss in 10 years, when the Saints ran for 298 yards and hung 47 points on our damp, miserable asses. Some asshole smacked his wife at the gate.
Since 2013, Jim Kelly has beaten cancer more times than the Bills have beaten the Patriots.
The happiest moment I’ve ever had as a Bills fan was entirely because of another team’s quarterback throwing a touchdown.
This team will deliver you early season promise only to sneak up behind and fuck you with a dildo shaped like Gronk’s head!
The average Buffalo Bills related message board is barely distinguishable from the Daily Stormer. At first I’d felt a bit of relief that maybe Bills’ fans on these boards were actually pro Asian, but no, it was just that they’d thought that Kim Pegula is hot.
If Josh Allen is good, I’ll eat my shoe.
Another year as the farm team for the Patriots.
Last week I found myself wondering if Jeremy Kerley can be a No. 2 wideout and whether we could talk Richie Incognito into coming back. Kill me.
My most recently bought jerseys are; EJ Manuel, Sammy Watkins, and CJ Spiller (which, after he was cut, I turned into a Ronald Darby jersey who was then seemingly immediately traded). A Terrell Owens jersey from when he got a key to the city is probably the nicest jersey I own.
When I attended the playoff tailgate this season, I found myself explaining to my wife why I was high fiving the guy in a Kyle Orton jersey in a genuine act of excitement and reminiscing about him, and one season where they went 9 and fucking 7, as if he lead us to a golden era of football.
Every paid draft analyst was like “Josh Allen. Don’t let the huge arm fool you, he has very big flaws in his game and couldn’t win or even make the all conference team in the Mountain West.” Brandon Beane heard that and busted into the top 10 of the draft like the fucking Kool Aid man, talking about the importance of his big hands and strong arm for the one snow game they play in per year. The coach is a discount Ron Howard who never stops clapping and speaks in nothing but tired cliches. At this point, I’d rather be a Browns or Jets fan; at least there is entertainment value in their clown shows.
A few years ago, the Bills hosted Cincinnati in Week 6, so my Bengals-fan buddy and I took the train from Chicago to Buffalo to go to the game together. I figured as long as he wasn’t rooting for the Pats, Bills fans would treat him all right.
We met up with an old friend of mine to tailgate. Because this was Buffalo, it was cold enough to snow in October, so the three of us split a whole bottle of Buffalo Trace mixed with cider we heated on a camp stove. (Incredible, btw.) We headed into the stadium, absolutely trashed, and took our seats on the cold-ass bleachers in the 300-level tundra.
Within two quarters, EJ Manuel’s thrown eight picks and Dalton’s playing like the second coming of Frank Reich, so my Bengals buddy is totally within his rights to celebrate while the rest of us sulk. Most fans are returning his good-natured trash talk, except for one guy a few rows back, who’s shouting at my buddy to shut up and sit down, swearing at him, pelting him with peanuts, generally being a drunk asshole.
At this point my high school friend is too out of it to care, so I turn around to defend my Bengals friend and tell the guy off —
The guy’s one of my oldest friends from elementary school.
Once we recognize each other, Phil smiles and moves up to chat with me. I ask him how his wife is doing. We shoot the shit, right there next to my buddy, as if Phil hadn’t just berated him for twenty minutes straight.
Bills fans are the worst people alive, including me.
The last time I went to a Bills game was in 2002 during my sophomore year of college. It was the first year of the Drew Bledsoe era, and my friend got free tickets to see a home game against the Lions. It was a cold, wet, and miserable October day, and during that three hour span, one guy pissed on me at the trough-like urinal, another guy spilled beer on me, and a third guy called me a “fag” for wearing a Montreal Expos hat.
Don’t sleep on Terry Pegula. He can barely put a sentence together, and he made his fortune in hydrofracking.
I’m sick of CBS showing shots of the Anchor Bar whenever they broadcast our games. AB sucks, everyone knows that.
Because our starting running back was accused of domestic violence, child abuse, robbery, animal abuse and steroid abuse, and it isn’t even the worst thing a Bills running back has been accused of.
Statistically speaking: there were more folding tables that took commercial flights to Jacksonville than points the Bills scored in their first playoff game in 18 years.
Sean McDermott is just Rex Ryan’s nerdy younger brother.
I get made fun of more for being a Bills fan than for being deaf and autistic.
Only the Bills could make ending a 17-year playoff drought feel like a trip to the dentist.
Is there a more Bills-y way to break a 17 year playoff drought than to sneak into the playoffs at 9-7, mostly thanks to Andy Dalton, and then to immediately lose 10-3 to Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Goddamn Jaguars?
The second the Josh Allen tweets dropped, he was a Buffalo Bill.
I hate my fucking life and I hope I’m killed wearing a Jim Kelly jersey. I want to spray-fart in the face of every Pergola family member.
Andy Fucking Dalton led a meaningless winning touchdown drive to knock the Ravens out and put the Bills in after a 17-year hiatus. I slid across my coffee table and fell on the floor wriggling like a fish, wept big giant man tears on my then-disturbed children as I kissed and hugged them and told them I loved them, then me and 20,000 other Bills fans donated a half million dollars to Dalton’s charity. I have no idea what his charity is for. Josh Allen was a great pick and is going to the Hall Of Fame. I have a fitted camo Bills hat. I miss Richie Incognito’ smile. I eat suicide wings and drink Molsen Canadian. I MAKE BAD DECISIONS. Go Bills.
Look at their fucking faces. It’s like someone just told Josh Allen that the locker room isn’t segregated by race.
Kelvin Benjamin weighs more than Jared Lorenzen.
Bills staff and fans were frustrated with a lack of pass production over the last few seasons and decided to solve that problem by drafting a guy who passed for less than 2,000 yards in his last season at powerhouse Wyoming.
Oh and LeSean McCoy definitely set up that shit.
The team seems to be organizationally married to the idea that because it is “cold” in Buffalo, they cannot pass the ball. It’s actually only negligibly colder during the football season than Pittsburgh or Boston, and warmer than Green Bay, but try telling that to the team that just moved up in the draft to pick a human statistical error for their quarterback because he’s got “big hands” and can “play in December.”
Why the most visible segment of this fan base sucks, on the other hand... You know, the ones you see regularly featured on this very website? Let me be clear about something. They are not having “fun.” They are sad. They are immeasurably sad. They are not engaging in wacky hi-jinx that just happens to get recorded. They are purposefully trying to up the ante so that they can be “seen” because they are absolutely starved for attention. They are doing what many people in Buffalo do, which is cling to any possible national media coverage, like a nerdy kid in school trying to convince himself that the pretty girls are laughing at him across the room because it might mean they “like” him. Willfully oblivious to the fact that they are the butt of the joke. The equivalent of a homeless man agreeing to squawk like a chicken if you give him a dollar.
“Desperate for a scrap of recognition and willing to debase ourselves to get it” should just be carved into the side of our stadium. It’s the perfect slogan for this team and its fans.
My dad, a Bills fan since the day the team was founded, went to his grave believing O.J. didn’t do it. He even said it out loud to other people.
We finally made the playoffs and lost our only claim to fame. I don’t even know who we are anymore.
The last time I went to a Bills game in Buffalo it was a Monday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Bills hadn’t been in a Monday Night game for 12 years so everyone was going apeshit. The Bills were up by 8 points with 20 seconds left and still managed to lose in regulation. On the way out of the stadium I saw a guy sucker punch a guy wearing a Romo jersey from behind.
How many first-degree murders does one of your former players have to commit before you no longer honor them on your stadium’s Wall Of Fame?
I make poor purchasing decisions.
We go to the game Sunday. I’m drinking airplane bottles of whatever I can find. I find my seat in the stadium, watch the kickoff, then wake up with 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
My buddy got kicked out for going to the women’s restroom. Or so I’m told.
On our way home, we stopped and ate at an Arby’s in Morgantown. It had been a few days so I was pent up. I went to the bathroom and werked it real good with liquid soap.
As I’m typing this I had to Google what the final score of the Bills game was.
I am a fucking degenerate.
Josh Allen is basically the white JaMarcus Russell. Our fan base would have put Tyrod Taylor on the wall of fame if his last name was Flutie and he wore camouflage attire instead of suits.
Our coach is the Mike Pence of the NFL. I will go to my grave and say that Terry Pegula, Kim Pegula, Brandon Beane, and Sean McDermort didn’t want to draft Josh Rosen because he’s an atheist.
In the time from when the Bills lost in 1999 and finally broke the playoff drought last year, I graduated from elementary school, high school, college, got married, bought a house, and fathered two soon to be suffering future Bills fans. Someday I’ll get to tell them all about the 2017 season which was actually trash by most team’s standards. Barely sneaking into the playoffs with a garbage roster where the most exciting pass play for the team was Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd.
And by the way…fuck you Deadspin for encouraging the embarrassing practice of the (terribly named) #BillsMafia, slamming each other drunkenly through flaming folding tables. Can’t wait for some idiot to die and ruin tailgating forever…I blame you, Deadspin, fuck you very much.
I have an uncle who lives in Alaska and has an outhouse. In the winter, shit in the outhouse freezes, eventually forming a stalagmite. Every few weeks he has to go out and chip off the top of the shitagmite with an ice axe because it’s emerged from the top of the hole and poked him in the butt (remember, it’s pretty much dark all winter and he has no lighting in the outhouse, so the emerging stink spike is usually found by accident).
This is both a true story and a metaphor for being a Bills fan.
The Bills did not make the postseason on merit; they made it because their self-inflicted wound from shooting themselves in the dick was somehow lesser than that of some other teams. Richie Incognito was what I imagine the grown up version of Eric Cartman would be.
You want to know what being a Bills fan is like in two seconds? Rewind to draft day. Goodell says “Josh”, and your heart rises; it sinks even harder and faster when he says “Allen”.
I paid good money to ‘see’ this last year. To be honest with you it was probably the most enjoyable game I’ve ever been to and I saw nothing except drunk people.
I was born in 1983 and raised in a small ski town in Alberta, Canada. A place with beautiful landscape, a wonderful population of outdoor enthusiasts, and about 3500KM of space between us and Ralph Wilson Stadium.
My mom and dad were together until I was eight years old, at which point they got divorced but still lived in the same town. Until the divorce my mother would always make me go to church on Sundays, however in the divorce they agreed that I would stay at my dad’s house on weekends. The first Sunday this agreement came into place fell in October and my dad presented me with a proposition, I could go to church with my mom, or stay home with him, watch football, and eat junk food. It was an easy choice for me.
Being the early-mid nineties there wasn’t a huge amount of availability here in terms of NFL football. We didn’t have FOX yet so aside from the Monday night game we were limited to whatever our regional CBS carrier had on that week, which for some reason was a Buffalo station. From then on out my Sundays in the fall were spent watching the Bills with my dad and thoroughly enjoying the quality time we spent together and my growing appreciation of NFL football and the dynamic roster the Bills were fielding.
Now, as an adult I am non-religious, I’ve never had time for it, or really found any belief or value in it. With that said, to this day I’m still not sure if God exists or not, as my fandom to the Buffalo Bills came about from me turning my back on church and could easily be our lord and savior seeking revenge on me for that decision I made in 1990.
The worst part about it too is that my Dad just straight up gave up on them and started watching CFL football instead, so there’s NOBODY within at least a hour of me who gives a single shit about what the Bills are doing. God, if you’re up there, I’m truly sorry. I would blame my father, but it was me who made that choice. Please do the right thing and crash a meteor into Ralph Wilson Stadium and make this less painful for me and all the other lost souls who you led into the 7th ring of hell known as Bills fandom.
My grandfather died last month after a long and horrifying descent into Alzheimers. My dad is an alright guy, but my mother is a lunatic and hates my wife so I’m cut off from the family, so I don’t even speak to my father anymore. The entire purpose of my sticking with this franchise was as a thing my father and grandfather and I shared. I have a (near 2 years old) daughter and last year I gathered all of the Bills fans I knew where I worked (maybe 4) and told them my dilemma. Isn’t this time to break the cycle? Shouldn’t I set her free?
One Navy Lieutenant (raised in Massachusetts with an idiot Bills father like me) pointed out that some of her best memories were watching football with her dad and that it doesn’t really matter who your team is so long as you have a team. Another Navy Lieutenant pointed out that “What if you let your daughter pick whatever team she wants and she ends up choosing the Cowboys, and then the Bills finally make it to the Super Bowl but it’s against the Cowboys and your daughter is rooting against you?”
The next day I bought my daughter, who I hope lives in a better world than this one, a three-pack of Bills onesies.
I hate this team.
I hate football.
Fuck Doug Marrone with a bologna log.
Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Kansas City Chiefs.