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Bills can keep believing another week (or is it pretending?)

Sports

ORCHARD PARK, NY – NOVEMBER 3: Shaun Dion Hamilton #51 of the Washington Redskins looks to try and tackle Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills as he throws a pass during the second half at New Era Field on November 3, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeated Washington 24-9. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

I heard long ago an axiom about pro football that I’ve come to believe as fact.

No one knows anything about the NFL until Halloween.

We’re now past the tricking and the treating, so don’t doubt what your eyes tell you about this Bills team.

Yep, they’re 6-2 and they don’t think they should have to apologize for that. And they shouldn’t. All they can do is beat the teams that they are assigned. So far, they’ve been pretty good at it.

Yet, it cannot be ignored that the six teams Buffalo defeated are now a combined 9-41. It’s likely to be 9-42 after Monday night.

It’s possible these eight games are the Bills holding on and squeezing out wins until they fully figure things out. It’s hard to give “credit” for victories over NFL dumpster fires individually, but not blowing any of these wins collectively is absolutely an accomplishment.

Especially when the Bills have to play all these games close.

They had to rally from 16 down to beat the 1-7 Jets. They needed 4th quarter comebacks at home to beat the 1-7 Dolphins and 0-8 Bengals. They let 1-7 Washington hang around at home until the final three minutes.

The Bills may have won all the fights, but they haven’t made any of these 0-fer and 1-fer opponents look like a game against Buffalo is out of their weight class.

There just isn’t enough that’s “good” on this team. The defense, for sure. There are half a dozen guys that qualify as “good”, if not better. Even with a few cracks being exposed the last three weeks, the armor for the Buffalo D is still plenty strong.

Josh Allen still isn’t there, yet. The turnovers don’t seem to be going away. He’s gone three straight games without an interception, but has fumbled five times in that same stretch.

The passing game as a whole is not ready to take over games. The Bills were ninth from the bottom in passing yards per game before Sunday against Washington and that number is only getting worse.

There is hope with Devin Singletary. His 140 yards combined included a 50 yard screen catch and 95 yards on 20 carries. That’s not a change of pace back workload. That’s what a primary back gets. Throw in the touchdown and it’s more than “good” for any featured back.

This isn’t to say the Bills aren’t improved. They certainly are. Last year’s offense was a trainwreck. Even if they aren’t good on offense, they definitely aren’t bad, either.

In addition, the nature of the NFL is close games. Dion Dawkins said it best.
“It’s really, really, really, really, really hard to shut teams completely out because everybody is in the NFL for reason.” (Yep, that’s actually how many “really’s” he used)

The Bills will have chances for good wins in December (now that Cleveland erased that opportunity next week). They would not be the first team to start a season in one direction and end up another.

That’s also not the likely outcome. It’s not early in the season anymore. We don’t have to wait and see.

We know what the Bills are. Don’t ignore what’s right in front of your eyes.

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