As many of my readers know, I tolerate Jet fans and Patriot fans far easier than Bills fans. There’s something about a fan base that watches their team lose 4 Super Bowls in a row, and yet they still won’t shut up. So it really pains me to want to pull for a Bills’ victory in a few days, but I know deep down I have to.
We got the one win I wanted. We even got a bonus win that I didn’t expect. As I’ve mentioned, it’s time to turn it all off now. 2019 was an experiment, and we need to look ahead to 2020.
But…the players aren’t getting that message. They are fighting for wins, and it’s hard to blame them.
So after a few days of sulking over “What might have been,” (it seems very unlikely now that we’ll get one of the top-top-top-tier players), I’m going to shift focus and remind myself about the unpredictability of the draft.
I have to think of guys like Ryan Leaf or JaMarcus Russell. Both were utter busts. Those are some recent, obvious examples that everyone brings up. But there are a lot more draft busts who are more subtle.
Look at our last game, for example. A game we wanted to lose turned into a win because the Colts had to use their 3rd-string QB. And part of the reason they used a third-stringer is because Andrew Luck quit on them a week before the season. Even before he quit on his team, was Luck a success? We all remember the Suck for Luck season. Peyton Manning was hurt, and the Colts lost 15 games.
At the time of the Luck draft, Manning was healthy again. The Colts had a choice of sticking with Manning (who went on to 2 more Super Bowls with Denver) or else drafting the can’t miss Andrew Luck. We know what they did, and we know the results. Tanking for Tua doesn’t mean the kid will be great. He could be another decent QB like Andrew Luck or Matt Ryan. Serviceable, but not game-changers like Mahomes or Russell Wilson (both of whom were taking later in the draft). So there’s hope.
Drafting 3 stud linemen all in the first round is an unglamorous route to take, but you’re almost (almost!) assured that at least one of them will grow into an NFL stud. But there are literally thousands of lineman busts too; you just don’t hear about them because of the nature of the position they play.
A month ago, I would have said DBs are a must draft too, but our ragtag group of unknown, undrafted, inexperienced guys are really playing well together. All without Reshad Jones, X Howard, Minkah, Tankersley, etc. It’s a miracle that won’t last, but it shows that the defense is coming around. So maybe we don’t need to draft a whole slew of guys, but rather some replacements here and there.
So, while I still don’t want to win any more games, it’s not the end of the world if we sneak a few more victories in there. I don’t like saying that, but I’m trying to be optimistic…
Your thoughts? Was Andrew Luck ultimately a failure? Is the Dolphins’ 2019 a failure if we don’t get one of the top QBs in the 2020 draft?