What's not dying, however, is the local denizens' love for their football team. They are a proud bunch. Even in below 20 weather, they turn out in droves, in their sacred Blue & Red garb, tailgating in the frigid grounds of The Ralph.
There was a time when facing the Bills meant a certain loss. Those were the days of Jim "Machine Gun" Kelly, Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Darryl Talley, Steve Tasker, Kent Hull, and the immortal Fred Smerlas.
In the late 80's and 90's, the Bills had a decade+ hold on the division, going:
* 1988: 12-4 (AFCD)
* 1989: 9-7 (AFCD)
* 1990: 13-3 (AFLC)
* 1991: 13-3 (AFLC)
* 1992: 11-5 (AFLC)
* 1993: 12-4 (AFLC)
* 1994: 7-9
* 1995: 10-6 (AFCD)
* 1996: 10-6
* 1997: 6-10
* 1998: 10-6
* 1999: 11-5
Those days are now long past. After the departure of their stable of Pro Bowlers, Marv Levy, and perhaps most importantly Bill Polian (GM from 1986-1993), who was fired after their 3rd straight SB appearance (after reported riff between him and the team's treasurer.)
Now, it's Patriots who are dominating this team. Consider*:
* Patriots have won 13 straight meetings
* Average margin of victory: 20 points (average score 29-9)
* Total number of turnovers: Patriots 11, Bills 25
* Rushing yards per game: Patriots 144, Bills 91
* Net passing yards per game: Patriots 229, Bills 151
* Total penalties / yards: Patriots 49 / 407, Bills 74 / 563
* Combined QB rating: Patriots 112.9, Bills 57.1
* Patriots now lead the series 58-40-1 (more wins vs. Bills than any other franchise)
But as we all know, stats are for losers. Wins are for champions. With the rumors of the Team of the Decade's demise amidst internal turmoil, it's time to start a winning streak in Orchard Park.
Ghosts of Patriots past got us a win against the Panthers. Today's men in Red & Blue will bring win #9.
Edited by SeoulSoxFan, 15 December 2009 - 03:08 PM.