At 4-8, The Buffalo Bills are somehow still mathematically alive in the AFC playoff race, even after the heart-wrenching 34-31 overtime defeat against the Atlanta Falcons. The Bills will attempt to increase the win column this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. The last quarter of the season will be a telling point for a team that has frustrated fans to the limit this season.
The Bills lost one of their typical games last week. After a first quarter that saw them dominating Atlanta in every facet of the game, they proceeded to fall apart over the final three quarters. This is all too familiar of the Bills, starting off well and finishing poorly. The Bills have done one thing well nearly all season, and that is running the ball. They currently rank 4th in the National Football League, averaging 139.2 yards per game. The Bills have used this to lessen the erratic and inconsistent quarterback play this season. The injuries at quarterback have rendered a promising season almost playoff-less for a fourteenth consecutive season.
The Bills defensive line has performed well. Recent free agent addition Mario Williams is leads the team with 12 sacks, good for 3rd best in the NFL. Marcell Dareus has stepped up his play as well. He has consistently blown up running plays, creating havoc for opposing teams. Dareus, along with fellow defensive tackle Kyle Williams, are in prime position to become Bills pro bowl picks this season. The BIlls did not have a pro bowl selection last year.
For them to win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the Bills will need to become more consistent. The Falcons were down and out last Sunday, but Buffalo let the foot off the gas. Playing a full 60 minutes of football instead of just 25 or 30 minutes is pivotal in securing a win.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had lofty expectations going into this season. Josh Freeman, the much-maligned former franchise quarterback was benched in Week 3. Tampa Bay started the season 0-8. Rookie Mike Glennon is currently the starter at quarterback. They traded for all-pro defensive back Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets. The NFL should send out a search party for Revis Island, because opposing quarterbacks have completed 63.4% of passes against them this season, 24th best in the league. They have one of the highest paid secondaries in the NFL, devoting 22.83% of their salary cap, or $30,756,019. Those figures are appalling for a team with a 3-9 record.
Which Bills team will show up at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon? Atlanta proved last week that win-loss record has no bearing on the level of fight in an opposing team. Will fans decide to turn away from their television sets and do yard work instead?
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