Very few Bills fans would have settled for a 3-2 start after the beat down they gave Indy during the week one blow out. Expectations were through the roof after Tyrod showed the City that he could really play some ball. This weekend he could begin a new chapter that demonstrates toughness while continuing to play the most important position on the field. Defying the odds seems to be a big part of his profile, thus far. If he can get out there and contribute in some capacity, the team will be much better off. Leaders play through the pain and find a way to get it done like Taylor did last week. A knee sprain is a very serious injury for someone who can elude would be tackler with quick feet and explosive cuts. Ligaments are a very scary discussion, but how many guys have gone down without any thought of tearing one? Toughness is something the position has been lacking since 1996. Football is a game that punishes your weaknesses across the board. Stepping on the field shows your opponent and the league that you are willing to put it all on the line, regardless of some soreness and swelling. Your presence on the field will earn the respect of your teammates and the adoration of the fan base. This team desperately needs that figure.
This week is another one of those forks in the road that the Bills have typically faced over the past 16 years. It is unfortunate that the team is banged up on the offensive side of the ball the way it is. However, if they can find a way to win this game on Sunday, they will separate themselves from the middle of the pack at a time where the schedule is ripe for the picking. The Bengals are an elite offense who rank in the top 10 in points scored (4th), passing yards (5th), rushing yards (10th), and total yards (2nd). Beating the undefeated leader out of the AFC North will be difficult without the Bills most important and trustworthy player on offense. Trustworthy up until this point that is. Five games will never be enough time to determine if Tyrod is the real deal. However, if he can some how find a way to get out there Sunday and contribute; we may have finally found our guy. It is a tall order knowing that knee injuries could change the course of anyone’s career. Tyrod has a very positive upside if he can stay healthy. Another injury to his knee could be the end of the season. He knows that. He has to. That is why if we see him out there on Sunday he must be feeling good enough to lead his team. He waited a long time in Baltimore to get a shot that never came. There is no way he is going to stand around and watch EJ play if he can be out there. The Bengals are going to come at the Bills from a number of different angles on offensive. Tyrod can give the Bengals defense some serious problems. The Bengals give up yardage to their opponents but make plays and hold their opponents to just a fraction over 20 points per game; pretty good when you yourself are scoring a fraction under 30. The Bills must punch it in to the end zone when given the opportunity Sunday. For as good as Taylor can run it, he has hit on over 70% of his passes in five games. Having someone back there who has demonstrated an ability to beat you in more than one way is something no defense can take for granted.
Our defense is due to make something happen at home this weekend. If Taylor can be out there, the crowd will be an immediate factor. That will only help when it’s time for Dalton to come under center. Last week, the Bills won a game that good teams always seem to pull out. This week, they can take a major step and beat a team who already has four wins in the conference. Winning the AFC East won’t be easy, so winning the conference games is a must if they want a shot at a wild card. Finding a way to get to 4-2 with all of these injuries would make things very interesting going over to London.