Mar 15, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills chief executive officer Russ Brandon (left) , general manager Buddy Nix (right) and head coach Chan Gailey (second from left) stand with newly signed defensive end Mario Williams at a press conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Buffalo Bills: It’s Nice To Have Hope Again


Finally a reason to have hope in Buffalo

1999.  That was the last year there were any serious expectations for a Buffalo Bills team going into a season.

The team was coming off a Wild Card round loss against the rival Dolphins and had expectations to not only get back to the postseason, but make a run.

Fast forward 13 years.

Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs since that 1999 season. Hell, they haven’t even had a reason to be excited about the team since 2002 when they acquired Drew Bledsoe.

But that’s all changed. Now, there’s hope. There’s reason to finally believe.

Flashback to March 24, the first day of NFL Free Agency. It was expected that Buffalo’s top free agent target would be the Patriots’ Mark Anderson. No one truly believed, and if they tell you they did they’re lying, that Buffalo would make a hard push to bring in the top free agent on the market, Mario Williams. However, that’s exactly what they did.

The Bills brought Williams in on the very first day, and didn’t let him leave without a deal.  It was a move that not only surprised Bills fans everywhere, but it shocked NFL media throughout the country. Buffalo signed Williams to a 6-year, $96-million contract that made him the richest defensive player in history.

After signing Williams, the Bills went out and still signed Anderson away from New England to occupy the other end. Another move to show that Buffalo means business.

Since then “experts” and fans alike have been debating whether or not the Bills are an actual threat to the rest of the AFC, and if they can contend for a playoff spot this season.

Rather expectantly, people want to get behind the Bills this season, but they are still skeptical. The biggest reason — Buffalo’s tendency to fizzle out as the season goes on.

Still, this year feels different. This year feels like it could finally be the year that they end their 12 year long playoff drought.

The defensive is vastly improved from last season with the defensive line of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus, and Chris Kelsay being viewed as one of the best lines in the NFL. New defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt has the team operating out of the 4-3 once again which should suit most of the players on the defensive better. And most of all, Buffalo will finally have a pass rush for the first time since the mid 2000′s when Sam Adams, Pat Williams, and Aaron Schobel manned the line.

On the offensive side, Buffalo has everyone back healthy.  When the team was healthy, Buffalo’s offense was one of the best in the NFL, and they should be able to get back to that form this season. Especially with the breakout of third year running back C.J. Spiller.

The atmosphere has been ridiculous in and out of the city of Buffalo. Everywhere you go people are constantly talking Bills and the season is still three months away. Now i know that Buffalo is always talking Bills, but this time it’s different.  This time it’s actually positive talk not the typical doom and gloom of being a Buffalo fan.

I mean, jeez, you know when your team has improved when division rival fans are worried about having the play Buffalo.

Of course though, this is still all talk. The game still has to be played on the field, but right now it’s nice to be a Bills fan and be able to have hope. Not farfetched dreams, but actual hope.

Enjoy it Bills fans.

Buffalo needs the Bills to be good, and so does the NFL.

To stay up to date on the latest from NFL Spin Zone, become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Tags: AFC Anderson Bills Buffalo East Mario Mark NFL NFL News Williams