Bills: Worst Regular Season Loss Ever?
As most Buffalonians know, the last time the Bills made the playoffs was 1999. Since that fateful playoff loss, the Bills have been through a series of quarterbacks and coaches.
Since that last playoff appearance, the lackluster list of quarterbacks includes Rob Johnson, Doug Flutie, Drew Bledsoe, Kelly Holcomb, JP Losman, and Trent Edwards. Meanwhile, the coaching carousel has included Wade Phillips, Gregg Williams, Mike Mularkey and Dick Jauron. Throughout this decade to remember, the Bills have stepped all over themselves with poor personnel decisions, poor coaching decisions, and poor game day execution.
But the question that wouldn't go away today was - is this the worst ever regular season loss for the Bills.
Let me make the case that it's up there.
First, San Francisco was 3-8 coming into this game. Their three victories include wins over Seattle (2-10), Detroit (0-12), and St. Louis (2-9).
Second, the 49ers offense is ranked 23rd in the NFL. And so is their defense.
Third, San Francisco is playing in Buffalo while West Coast teams are 0-16 this year when traveling to play on the East Coast.
Fourth, the 49ers were starting a quarterback with 8 career starts.
Fifth, the Bills were actually in playoff contention going into this game. With some challenging intra-division games coming up, this was a must-win for the Bills.
Sixth, the Bills were a 7 point favorite, they made 4 trips to the red zone and had 2 drives of 15 or more plays where they ended up scoring zero points.
I can think of some other painful home losses over the past decade - there was the 2004 last regular season game loss to the Steelers to lose a playoff bid and the 2007 opening loss to Denver on last second field goal, but both of those losses were to winning teams.
This loss seems to perfectly embody the past decade of frustration for the Bills organization. The defense was ok but not dominating. Both quarterbacks stunk. The coaching staff was an embarassment and the result was all-too predictable.
The question becomes - now what?