Bills fans need to be cautious about Monday’s 38 - 3 win over the bankrupt New York Jets at Ford Field in Detroit as the hometown team is still a long shot to make it to the playoffs at 6 and 5 and a very tough schedule ahead.
But a win is a win for this franchise even against a team as bad as the Jets were on Monday night. Kyle Orton showed he can beat a lousy team and look pretty good doing it, connecting with Robert Woods nine times for 118 yards including a sensational one-handed grab and a touchdown.
Despite having the game moved to Detroit because of last week’s snowstorm making Ralph Wilson Stadium unplayable, the Bills were ready to go Monday, perhaps knowing the Jets team that upset the Steelers last week was not going to show up two weeks in a row no matter what loud mouth Rex Ryan was blustering leading into the game. They are possibly the worst team in the NFL and have given the Bills two of their six wins.
Orton has his moments, and it is frustrating to know that in a career where he wins about half the games he starts he’s not likely to repeat his Detroit performance against the Browns next week in the Ralph. But he could surprise and at least he gives the Bills a chance to win, a monumental improvement over the franchise quarterback (bust) E J Manuel.
Orton is also a better signal caller than anybody the Jets can put behind center, and Rex Ryan’s 2 – 9 Gang Green is now officially out of the playoffs in case anybody was holding out hope the recycled Vick could resuscitate a pathetic team. He can’t and neither can Geno Smith who this time replaced Vick to no avail against a stout Buffalo defense.
The Bills are a frustrating team and at times look like they can make a move, but when they had their chance at home against Kansas City, they came up empty. That has been this team’s story for much too long. They still need a franchise quarterback and none are in sight given their recent draft moves. The looming schedule (Browns, Broncos, Raiders, Packers, Patriots) will make it perfectly clear this team is not playoff caliber despite boasting serious talent on defense and some excellent pass catchers. They should beat the Raiders but the rest of that lineup looks too tough for the Bills unless lightning strikes and turns Orton into a top tier quarterback that can make the play when it counts. I hope he does and look forward to the possibility.
In the meantime, fans should enjoy the possibility the Bills might win 7 games this year, one more than their usual total of six. But hey, who knows. The Jets somehow beat the Steelers who must have had somebody else on their minds. Maybe the Bills can surprise one of those top teams lying in wait and build hopes for next year. It could be another season of wait ‘til next year, a familiar refrain for all of us who are hoping to put Buffalo on the map for more than snowstorms.