After suffering a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets on Nov. 2, the Buffalo Bills 2017 season has spiraled out of control, yet again.
Two weeks after the 5-2 Buffalo Bills suffered a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football, their season has totally unraveled. The same thing happened to the Buffalo Bills during the 2008 and 2011 seasons.
In 2008, the Bills started 5-2. They lost to the Jets in Week 8 and won just two more game the rest of the season, finishing with a 7-9 record. In 2011, the Bills started 5-2 again. In Week 9, they lost to the New York Jets and won just one more game the rest of the season, finishing with a 6-10 record.
The 2017 Buffalo Bills looked like they would finally end their 18-year playoff drought which is currently the longest in the NFL.
Once again, like in 2008 and 2011, the Bills looked like they were on their way to a successful season as they won five of their first seven games and sat tied with the New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East.
However, in Week 9, the Jets were their opponent again. This time the game took place at MetLife Stadium instead of Rich Stadium in Buffalo. Despite the difference in location, the result was the same in 2017 as it was in the previous two seasons.
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A few things started to happen to the Bills in that game that hadn’t happened to them in their first seven games.
First thing is that they started to turn the ball over. In their first seven games of 2017 the Bills had committed just three turnovers. They had a +14 turnover margin. Opponents had scored just seven total points off those three turnovers.
The other thing the Bills did well was their defense was very good. In their first seven games they had allowed just 115 points on the season (16.4 PPG) and forced 17 turnovers.
Starting with the visit to MetLife Stadium on Nov. 2, things turned drastically. In suffering three straight losses, the Bills have allowed a total of 135 points, which is tied for the fourth-most points surrendered in any 3-game single-season span since the 1970 merger. Only the 2004 Titans (140), 1980 49ers (138) and 2004 Browns (137) have allowed more over a three-game span.
After forcing 17 turnovers in their first seven games, the Bills defense has forced just one during their three-game losing streak.
On offense, the Bills have tripled their turnover output over their three-game losing streak. They have turned the ball over 10 times in the last three games, which opponents have scored 44 points off of. Sunday’s six turnover effort and 54-point explosion was a new low for the Bills. Starting for Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, Nathan Peterman became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to throw five-plus interceptions on fewer than 15 pass attempts in a game (first since Archie Manning vs Falcons in 1973). Peterman also became only the fifth quarterback since the 1970 merger to throw five interceptions in his first career start.
In 2011, the Bills lost their two games after the loss to the New York Jets by a combined 64 points. This season after losing to the New York Jets, the Bills have lost the last two games against the Saints and Chargers by a combined 67 points.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Bills over the next two weeks as they travel to Kansas City and host New England. If they lose both those games, the prospects of recovering to make a playoff run would be extremely difficult.
Their schedule does ease up a bit over the last four games as they play the 4-6 Dolphins (who are in the midst of their own three-game losing streak) twice and host the Colts. They also visit New England the second to last week of the season, so that could keep them out of the postseason as well.
Either way, the once promising season that had Buffalo fans so excited like they were in 2008 and 2011 has spiraled out of control starting with a loss to the New York Jets. For a team and fan base that is the only one of the 32 NFL franchises not to make the postseason in the millennium, that is a hard fact to face.