This has been a series I have been mulling since December when a drought draft photo was making the rounds on Twitter. I thought no one could make a more comprehensive list than yours truly. There’s some great drought podcasts out there that I would recommend with Ryan/Defenseman and Prescott Rossi, but I felt doing a written history of the drought according to someone who lived and hated it, needed to be told. In terms of a formula, it really is a mix of franchise altering moments (Hirings/Signings) or a specific moment where I go on a breathtaking diatribe rant (Games). In other words, there is no science to the logic, but only hate. Enjoy and fuck the Bills for being shitty.
90) Benching Tyrod- What if you were to have the game of your life by passing for 300+ yards and then were benched the following game? Ask Tyrod Taylor. This is obviously still fresh on our minds, but benching the QB because you were worried about his injury clause was pretty stupid. It sent a crappy message to the locker room and really put interim coach Anthony Lynn in a weird predicament at his opening press conference since he was told to bench Tyrod and wasn’t even involved in the process. It was a complete mess and handled very poorly by everyone at One Bills Drive.
89) Benching Eric Moulds – During the Miami game of 2005 (Hint: That game may make an appearance on the list), Eric Moulds was benched in the 2nd quarter of the game. Depending on who you believe, he wasn’t happy about the ball not going to him and basically took it out on Mularkey on the sidelines. There was even talk that Moulds didn’t even want to go back in the game and that’s how the benching took place.
After the game, Mularkey wanted to suspend Moulds for the following week. Instead, the coach had to ask Ralph Wilson’s permission to do so which brought up a ton of “Who the hell is running this team if the coach can’t bench a player?” It took 4 days for the Bills to finally decided on whether they were going to suspend Moulds. Additionally, it was perceived as Mularkey losing his vets, which he kind of did that year when he benched Sam Adams and said Willis McGahee wasn’t hitting holes hard enough. It was just typical void of leadership at One Bills Drive.
88) Trent Edwards gets concussed- This was a tough one for me to put on the list, but there’s a sentiment that Trent Edwards wasn’t the same after the hit from Adrian Wilson. At the time, the Bills were 4-0 and riding high with Trent as their QB. Trent was a big time flavor of the month to the point that Peter King had him in his top 5 MVP for the first quarter of the 2008 season. As we all know, Trent’s play didn’t last and he really fell off a cliff after the hit and for the rest of the career. The reason it’s hard for me is that Trent’s two best games (Chiefs and Chargers which was after zona game) came afterwards in the same season. So did his play go down cause teams caught up to him or was it cause of a head shot?
87) Ralph Wilson reading his own statement- When you watch this video, tell me how in the world did Ralph own this team for another 13 years and was the president! He read everything from this press release in the 3rd person like he was the fricken Rock! I’m surprised he didn’t say “The Ralph says”. Complete embarrassment. Someone needed to throw Ralph in an old folk’s home.
86) Punting in OT against Miami in 2016- If you had ANY faith in Rex Ryan at this point (God bless you if you did), this OT had to completely erase it. Yeah, with 4 minutes in change left in OT, Rex decided to trust his defense instead of going for it on 4th and 2 from their own 41-yard line. The Bills had allowed Matt Moore and Jay Ajayi look like Dan Marino and Ricky Williams. The problem was that even if you got the ball back, you probably weren’t going to have enough time to score, which is what the Bills needed to do to keep their faint playoff hopes alive. Oh, and the Bills had 10 players on the field for an Ajayi 51-yard run. Bills lost the game and Rex was fired a few days later.
85) Shawn Nelson fumble against Ravens in OT- Here comes the first of “The Bills were robbed by the officials” games. The Bills were 0-5 at this time and in a complete rebuild. Somehow, they actually put up a decent showing against a Ravens team that went on to go 12-4. Fitzpatrick had the first 300+ yard game for the Bills for the first time since 2006! Lee Evans had 3 TDs. It was a fun game until we got to OT.
On a simple catch by Shawn Nelson where he was gang tackled by like half the Ravens team, it seemed like forward progress was stopped as the Ravens were holding him up for a good 2-3 seconds, carried him off the ground, and moved him forward. Nelson fumbled the football, the Ravens recovered and ended up kicking a FG to win it. Game over. I’ve seen the refs blow the whistle faster on similar plays over the years.
84) Cutting Drew Bledsoe- Bledsoe will always been the poster boy here for being a QB who could do just enough to get you to 7 to 9 wins if EVERYTHING around him was perfect. It was the main reason why the Bills cut him because they viewed him as an average QB who wasn’t going to lift the team because he needed the team to lift him. If the Bills had a decent contingency plan after cutting him, this wouldn’t be on the list. Instead, they cut a veteran QB on a veteran team in order to hand the reigns to JP Losman. As we all know, JP was not the answer and he was awful in 2005.
Plus, the veteran team hated his guts. It also didn’t make much sense to cut your starting QB when you were just one game away from making the playoffs. If anything, they should have kept him and had him battle with JP in training camp. In 2005, Bledsoe was much better than he was the previous two seasons as he was 8th in passing yards and TDs. Although, he struggled in 2006 and lost his job midway through the season to Tony Romo. If Bledsoe kept up his play for a few more years afterwards, he’d be probably in that 50-60 range.
83) Losing Nate Clements/Jairus Byrd/Stephon Gilmore for nothing- You know how there’s a bit of a countdown to figure out how the Bills can gain a compensatory pick if they cut a few of the players they signed in regards to letting Gilmore go for free? What if I were to tell you they should have traded him during the season when they knew how much he wanted? What if I told you the same for Nate Clements and Byrd?
It shouldn’t be a GIANT surprise when young DBs get paid mega-bucks in FA. So, if you already know what they are going to probably make, trade the guy. The Pats did that with Richard Seymour and Bobby Collins. Be smart for a change. The record for the final year for these players in Buffalo was 7-9, 6-10, and 7-9. Trust me, there was no heroic run on the horizon and it was obvious the Bills weren’t very good those years. So, it isn’t like trading them would have cut them off from making a run cause they were DOA.
82) Stevie Johnson drop against NE- This again falls under the “You had to be there” category because it probably doesn’t belong on this list. Maybe you don’t remember this drop, but since I was there, I was pissed. The Bills were somehow leading the Patriots in the 2013 season opener in the 4th quarter. I couldn’t believe it as I expected the Pats to just kill the Bills under first year coach Doug Marrone. The Bills were up 21-20 with 8:54 left and facing a 3rd and 2. EJ took the snap out of shotgun and threw it to Stevie Johnson in the flat where no one seemed to be around him.
He could have got at least 10 yards more. Instead, he dropped it (Scroll to about 2:36). Yes, the Bills probably would have still lost this game, but being in the stadium, I wanted to bloody murder the guy. I was right in the upper deck right at the 41-yard line and I saw the play develop and I was like “BIG PLAY!!” and boom. Taken away from me. My section wanted to kill him at that moment. It has just stuck with me cause I wanted so badly to beat the Pats and Stevie just had a propensity to just fuck up during the worst possible moments.
81) 56-10!!! Ah, yes. Our first New England blood bath. They are sure to make the list a few times. This game -flexed to Sunday night football because the Bills were 5-4 and the Pats were 9-0 while chasing perfection- was a complete shit show. No one thought the Bills were going to win this game and my only hope was to not get killed or embarrassed. Boy, were my hopes for not being embarrassed dashed by halftime. I remember watching this game at my friend’s house with a Patriots fan and she was just getting her jollies on because of this Bills embarrassment.
“Joe! It’s 14-7! Joe! it’s 28-7! Joe why is your team shitty?! Why do you root for them?
I DONT KNOW!
MAYBE CAUSE MY PARENTS LOST A BET WITH THE FOOTBALL GODS AND HAD TO PROCREATE HERE INSTEAD OF GREEN BAY?!?!
Aside from Brady dropping 6 TDs, Randy Moss scoring 4 TDs, and Kevin Everett coming on the scoreboard to wish the Bills to beat NE, I’ll always remember how the Bills kicked a FG when they were trailing 42-7 in the 3rd quarter. Yes, 42-7!!!!!!!!!!! Dick Jauron, ladies and gentleman. If you want to not watch the highlights of this one, but want to somewhat live through the emotions of it, I would say watch Creed vs Drago in Rocky IV. The Kevin Everett cameo was basically James Brown’s “Living in America” and the fireworks and NBC Sunday Night football music intro was Creed’s entrance to the ring. Once the bell rung, it was over and everyone died. Blood. F’N. Bath.