Buffalo Bills fans in 2016 have reasons to be optimistic about the remainder of the season and reasons to be pessimistic. We wanted to have some fun and let two fictional characters argue on behalf of each side on the fanbase.
Back in the offseason, we overheard two characters, Owen Optimist and Peter Pessimist, who were arguing about the outlook of the Buffalo Bills 2016 season. At the midway point in the year, we figured it would be a great time to check back in on them to see how they were doing. Luckily the two characters just happened to bump into one another at a local Buffalo sports bar.
Owen Optimist: Hey Peter. It’s great to see you. It’s been a while.
Peter Pessimist: I wish I could say the same but in my opinion, it hasn’t been long enough.
Peter: Well I’m just glad you’re not actually a Buffalo Jill. You act like a cheerleader for the Bills because of the way you talk so positively about the team so it’s hard to decipher the difference.
Owen: I know you always trend negative but what’s the problem? The team is 4-4, they are in the playoff mix and have wins against two potential playoff teams in the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals. Splitting the season series with the Patriots is something the team has only done three other times in the previous 15 years. I don’t understand how you aren’t happy about that.
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Peter: Geez. Do you even pay attention at all? Beating Jacoby Brissett is a whole different story than beating Tom Brady. Sure the Bills won in Foxboro but they were playing a JV quarterback. When they played the Patriots with Tom Brady they were outclassed the entire game.
Owen: I’m not arguing the Bills are better than the Patriots but the team was swept in 2008 when Matt Cassel was the Patriots quarterback so forgive me for being excited that the Bills won a game in Foxboro which doesn’t happen often.
Peter: You are forgiven…for being stupid.
Owen: Look you can continue to be miserable in life but I refuse to live that way. The Bills are 4-4 which is right where I thought they would be at this point. Sure they lost some games that I thought they’d win but they also won some games I was almost sure they would lose. Your draconian outlook on the team is completely out of line.
Peter: While the Bills beat the Cardinals and the Patriots, as I pointed out, the Patriots were without Brady and the Cardinals are not nearly as good as they were last year.
Owen: In years past the Bills didn’t win games against good teams that were struggling so what’s your point? The Bills are showing progress by winning games they are not “supposed to”. On top of that, they are dealing with a number of injuries and still have won half their games. Past Bills teams would be lucky to be .500 with a completely healthy roster.
Peter: I’m so glad you brought up health. I was dying to talk about this. There is clearly something wrong with the training staff in Buffalo considering the Bills best players have all had health issues. Sammy Watkins was pushed too much with his foot, LeSean McCoy played the other week despite clearly having hamstring issues. Their first and second round draft picks both had surgeries after the draft. Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, and Brandon Tate have all been injured as well. The Bills can’t keep their top playmakers healthy and that’s a serious concern.
Owen: That might be one of the dumbest arguments I have heard yet. The Bills got steals in the draft with both Reggie Ragland and Shaq Lawson. Part of the reason they were available to the Bills was due to their KNOWN medical issues. It’s not like this was a surprise. Additionally, there is nothing the team could do to prevent LeSean McCoy’s hamstring issues or many of the other injuries so to use this as an excuse is just idiotic. Maybe you should drink up to improve your mood because the Bills are still doing well despite the injuries. Once they get healthy, the rest of the teams in the NFL better watch out. Buffalo has addressed the injuries the best they can and other players have stepped up. In fact, if Lawson didn’t require surgery Lorenzo Alexander, who leads the league in sacks, would not have had nearly as much playing time. The injuries at wide receiver have gotten them to coax Percy Harvin out of retirement which gives them more playmakers now than when they started the year.
Peter: Hey Bartender! Cut this guy off. He’s clearly drunk on his own stupidity. I argue the team has too many injuries and you come back citing that Lorenzo Alexander, who is currently injured, and the signing of Percy Harvin, who is notorious for his injury history, is a positive thing? Sometimes I wonder if you were the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz in a previous life and the brain they gave you was filled with Bills propaganda.
Owen: You can insult me all you want. Generally, that’s a sign that you’re losing an argument but I’ll stick to the facts. The Bills are currently ranked 8th in the AFC and are just one and a half games behind the Kansas City Chiefs for the last playoff spot. Three of the seven teams ahead of them are in the same division which means they will beat each other up when they play and there will definitely be some losses from those teams. The Bills are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for having opponents remaining on their schedule with the worst overall winning percentage of 41 percent according to playoffstatus.com.
Peter: Playoffs? You’re talking Playoffs? Somebody needs to call Jim Mora to talk some sense into you. How do you expect the Bills to make the playoffs when the Bills are 1-4 in conference games and 1-3 in division games. These are two of the most important tiebreakers in order to get a Wildcard spot because it’s clear they aren’t winning the division. Three of their four victories were against the NFC West which does them little to no good when it comes down to securing a wildcard spot through a tiebreaker.
Owen: I’m not a disillusioned fan like you make me out to be who always is preaching Bills victories. I understand they aren’t going to win the division from the Patriots. But one thing I am is a FAN. You know, someone who ROOTS for the Bills. Most decent fans don’t spend all their waking hours trolling their own favorite team. Why do you even watch the Bills? Just so you can hate on them?
Peter: I don’t watch the Bills so I can hate on them. I watch the Bills which causes me to hate on them. I am tired of rooting for a losing team, I am tired of feeling like a loser, I want to root for a winning team for once.
Owen: You may be tired of feeling like a loser but you still act like one. The whole point of being a fan is about loving and rooting for your team. Sure you can disagree with what they do and complain from time to time but your whole relationship with the Bills is based on bashing them. You’d be better off spending your energy doing something else.
Peter: Like what? Listening to you make excuses for them all day?
Owen: No, like wiping that damn perennial frown off your face. I’ve had enough of you. I came to this establishment to have a good time and take a load off, not to have you cram negativity down my throat. You may not actually be Jerry Sullivan but I bet you two would be best friends. Try to smile every once in a while. You never know, you may actually enjoy it. I’m out of here. Check please!