There’s no doubt about it: it’s good to be a Buffalo Bills fan right now. First place in the AFC East…an extremely likable roster of scrappy underdogs…an explosive, entertaining offense…finally beating those freaking Patriots. Who could ask for anything more?
I should be riding high right now, but I’m really not. The reason? I am TERRIFIED for Sunday’s game in Cincinnati against the Bengals.
That may seem silly. After all, there’s a mountain of reasons the Bills should win this game…but I’m scared about all of them:
1) The Bills haven’t lost to the Bengals since 1989. Really! Buffalo lost the AFC Championship game to Cincinnati 21-10 in January of 1989. Since then, the Bills have defeated the Bengals 10 straight times, including last season’s crazy 49-31 comeback win. Because the Bills finally ended their eight-year, 15-game skid against the Patriots last week, this is now the longest current winning streak of one team over another.
Reason to Fear: All streaks come to an end. And it would be classic Bills to break a losing streak to one powerhouse team in dramatic fashion and then blow a winning streak against a crappy team the following week.
2) The Bills have so much momentum and confidence right now. How could they lose to a bad team?
Reason to Fear: This game has flashing red lights reading “TRAP GAME” all over it. The Bills just had a huge emotional win and next Sunday they take on the star-studded Philadelphia Eagles. It’d be so easy to overlook the Bengals and not come ready to play.
3) Have you seen the Bengals this year? They sort of suck. And that 13-8 loss to the 49ers was every bit as ghastly as the score indicated. They are starting a rookie QB, you know.
Reason to Fear: Andy Dalton? Surprisingly not terrible so far. And the Cedric Benson-led running attack is potent enough to challenge Buffalo’s still-suspect defense. It really wouldn’t be surprising if the Bengals put up quite a few points in this one. And the defense has been pretty strong so far. Granted, it was against the 49ers, Broncos, and Browns, but still.
(On a completely unrelated note, the Bengals have an insanely easy schedule this year. They’ve already played @Cleveland, @Denver, and hosted San Francisco. Their next five games: vs. Buffalo, @Jacksonville, vs. Indy, @Seattle, @Tennessee. Won’t find an easier start than that in the rugged NFL.)
4) Stop being so paranoid. This is a new Bills team. You’re stuck in the miserable past.
Reason to Fear: I’ll be stuck in the past until the Bills make the playoffs again. This has classic Bills heartbreaking loss written all over it. I really, really hope I’m wrong.