I’m keeping you guys on your toes. I usually am writing about the NFC East or the NFC North. Because it’s the playoffs, I decided to switch it up and venture to the AFC side of the League, to talk about the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts Wild Card game.
After quarterback Tom Brady left the division in the offseason, I don’t think anyone was happier than the Buffalo Bills to see him leave. With Brady out of the division, it was pretty much a given that they would win the AFC East, at least on paper.
Despite the Miami Dolphins having a pretty successful year, the Bills finished 13-3 and got to host their first playoff game in 25 years. They were even given permission to allow a “small” amount of fans to come and cheer on their Bills. The Colts, on the other hand, finished their division tied with the Tennessee Titans with an 11-5 record. Quietly, rookie running back Jonathan Taylor lead the way with over 1,000 rushing yards.
It’s time again for the Our Turf Football Fan Forum. For those new here, once a month I ask the members of our Fan Forum a question to get their thoughts on the state of their team or football in general. Since this month is full of holidays and (hopefully) good cheer, I decided the question should reflect that.
In a season we weren’t even sure would happen, there have been a lot of ups and downs. Between very little training camp, no preseason, and COVID-19 issues, there has been a lot that has gone wrong in the 2020 season. However, in my opinion, there has been a lot that has gone well too. And that was my question for the forum.
In a season that wasn’t guaranteed and had lots of things going against it, what has gone well? I told the members it could be about anything NFL, and they came up with some fantastic answers.
As part of our Fan Forum series, I asked our forum members to rate or grade their favorite teams so far through the season. You can read the other members’ comments here, but when I read Ashley Petty‘s answer, I thought it deserved a little space.
In my opinion, the Bills are one of the most fascinating teams in the NFL this year. With quarterback Tom Brady moving on from New England, we knew there was a strong chance that the upstart Bills would fill the void that was left. It hasn’t been perfect, but I think there is a lot of good coming out of upstate New York. As Ashley comments below show, she agrees.
As word came down about the possibility of yet another NFL game being rescheduled, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, sent all 32 teams the league’s coronavirus safety protocols making clear there will be penalties for violations.
This memo came after a league-wide conference call Monday, stating that every team needs to follow proper protocol for the health and safety of all players, staff, and coaches.
One team in particular now seems to have violated these protocols. The NFL and the NFLPA have launched an investigation as to whether or not the Tennessee Titans held unauthorized player work-outs. Due to an apparent outbreak among the team, the Titans’ facilities were closed. This goes against the NFL league protocols.
Week one of the 2020 NFL season for the AFC East will see all four teams facing off against each other. The Buffalo Bills will host the New York Jets, while the Miami Dolphins will start where they finished their 2019 season, in Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots.
Let’s take a look at each team before Week 1.
Starting behind quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team will have first-round, future franchise QB Tua Tagovailoa watching and waiting in the back-up spot. Miami solidified that spot for Tagovailoa after the release of former first-round quarterback Josh Rosen.
In this edition of the OTFB Fan Forum, I decided to have everyone take a look at this odd offseason. The all-virtual, Zoom edition of an offseason.
Since free agents weren’t allowed into any facilities, it made signing them more difficult for teams. Rookies weren’t allowed anywhere near the rest of the team until training camp. It was a little weird. I was curious about how our forum members thought their team faired. Did they improve? Get worse by losing important pieces? Did they make any moves at all?
Or, seeing as the circumstances were, well… unusual, did they just hang on?
Last week I introduced the OTFB Fan Forum. A group of 6 fans from across the NFL who are willing to be a voice for football fans. The first question posed to them was about how they felt about fans not being allowed in stadiums for NFL games. This week, we look at fans being allowed, but with social distancing in place.
When and if the NFL decides they can allow fans into the stadiums to watch games, more than likely they will have to cut down the number of fans that can do that by as much as 2/3, with the required 6 ft of distancing and most likely masks required.
That then gives the teams, and the league, a major problem to solve. How do you choose which fans are allowed? How do you allocate those tickets? What would the consequences be if fans don’t follow the rules? Our Fan Forum weighs in with their thoughts.
Since the departure of quarterback Tom Brady from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the AFC East now is considered “up for grabs”. So which team is poised and ready to take over the reins?
With the Miami Dolphins in full rebuild mode and the Jets still finding their nitch with second-year Head Coach Adam Gase, the Bills are poised and are deemed the heavy favorites to take over the AFC East. Fourth-year head coach Sean McDermott brought the Buffalo Bills to a 10-6 record and second in the AFC East in 2019. With the aid of a departing Brady and a solid draft class(see below) for 2020, the Buffalo Bills and their Bills Mafia fan base are ready for an AFC East take-over.
It was the second day of practice for both the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl teams at the 2020 Pro Bowl. It was a typical Pro Bowl practice, lots of dancing, goofing off, and defensive players playing offensive positions. It’s a time for players to relax, enjoy time with fellow NFL players, spend some quality time with their families, and interact with fans.
But if you ever are able to come to the Pro Bowl and watch these practices, what you notice most is the fun the players are having on the field. It looks like one giant backyard game, where rules are loosely applied and roles are interchangeable.
Before Saturday, this was the game most people had a hard time picking a winner for. The Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills are similar, well-matched teams. In what turned out to be another heart breaker for the Bills fans, the Texans held on to win 22-19, advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs.
This game wasn’t close, to begin with. The Bills had a 16 point lead in the middle of the 3rd quarter. But then Houston flipped the switch and turned this game on its head. In what felt to be frantic fashion, Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson showed everyone why Texans fans love him so, tying the game up and taking it to overtime, and winning the game.
But that simple recap doesn’t begin to tell the story of this wild Wildcard game. This game was crazy, in the most fun way possible.