The Buffalo Bills might be the biggest disappointment of this NFL season. A supposed Super Bowl contender, as predicted by many, can barely stay alive in the wild-card race. Buffalo lost another game on Sunday in Philadelphia, which they could’ve won had their coach not folded in crunch time. Too many bad late-game decisions will be the undoing of Sean McDermott much sooner than you think.
It might be painful to admit, but Nick Wright finally knocked one out of the park. The Bills are 6-6 and were passed in the standings by Denver on Sunday. They now sit a half game behind the Broncos in the AFC wild-card race. Sure, it’s a small gap, but the way the past two months have gone, the odds are Buffalo misses the postseason. Since starting the season 3-1, the Bills are 3-5 in October and November.
There’s no reason to suspect this tailspin will end anytime soon, with a trip to Kansas City next on the schedule following a bye week. Players aren’t without fault, especially Josh Allen, who’s supposed to be the team leader. But it always starts with the head coach, especially when a team comes off as undisciplined.
In the seventh season of his Buffalo tenure, McDermott’s team has gone from being Super Bowl contenders to struggling to keep their heads above water. Like the Chargers, there’s no good excuse for the Bills being this bad. At .500, Buffalo is still alive mathematically for the playoffs, but realistically, it’ll take a drastic turnaround for them to clean things up.
Buffalo doesn’t look like a confident team right now. Whether it’s the coach giving up on them, as Wright suggests, the regression of Josh Allen or a lack of chemistry overall, something needs to change quickly. In the short term, their playoff chances are likely shot at this stage, especially if they fall to 6-7 in two weeks against the Chiefs. The most obvious front-line change for the long term is replacing the head coach.
To those who’ve speculated about Allen being traded, that’s not happening anytime soon. You can bring in an offensive coach and staff to work with Allen on eliminating turnovers. Once he corrects that, Allen will once again be mentioned among the league’s elite passers. The only way McDermott returns next year is if the Bills run the table and make noise in the playoffs.
If the Bills aren’t seriously weighing their options, the organization isn’t worried about winning. This team is too good on paper to be sitting in 10th place in the AFC. Time is winding down on McDermott as he’ll likely be packing up his office soon in preparation for his exit from the Bills’ facility like Ken Dorsey.