After watching the Packers come and go last week I knew the old “what ifs” would start pouring out of each and every Bills fan I know. You know what I am talking about don’t you? How many times have you asked yourself, “What if Bryce didn’t fumble?” “What if CJ stayed healthy?” “What if we had a #1?” I usually ask myself what if each time I catch the AFC Playoff Breakdown and see us behind those Chiefs. That one game may be the difference between us making it to the postseason, or watching someone else.

Hatred of some of the old AFL teams has always run deep in my blood. The Raiders are right at the top of the pecking order. Many of my friends and even mentors have started to reach out to me about their displeasure with each of the teams we play after I started this little piece. Raiders’ week has been the most passionate by far. My father’s crew is quick to ask the question, “What if we didn’t trade Daryle Lamonica?” Why wouldn’t they? The dude went to Notre Dame. His nickname was “the Fireman.” To this day many believe the Bills should have kept Lamonica and traded Jack Kemp, but it was hard for Ralph to let go of the guy who had just won him two straight AFL Championships. Others brought up Mr. Wison’s $400,000 dollar loan to Oakland that kept them afloat during the early years of the AFL. What if he didn’t? What if Ralph turned his back on the franchise that ended up achieving his ultimate prize three times? My father and anyone who has followed this team since the beginning has asked these questions since the 60’s. Honestly, they have never even crossed my mind. My what if is different. Mine dares to ask a question few Bills fans have ever even thought about. My question is simple. What if Bo played in the '91 Championship game?

Now don’t flip out on me. I was at that game. Actually, my brother and I sat on the 35 yard line two rows behind the Raiders bench. I am certain I ask the question because I watched him limp around the sideline as the snow and the Bills buried the Raiders in our finest hour. If Bo hadn’t gone down against the Bengals the week before I am certain the game would have been different and I will argue with anyone who says otherwise.

I need to be clear about one thing before I try and prove a point. At no point am I insinuating that the Raiders win that game. No way. No chance. That day was our day and we will never forget it. However, playing against an athlete and superstar like Bo Jackson requires a supreme performance. He was incredible, unstoppable, and at that time he was my favorite athlete on the planet. I loved watching him run up the wall to catch fly balls almost as much as I loved watching him run over the Boz. I can still remember watching him run through that tunnel and thinking, “What if we have to play this guy?” He was the only player I ever feared during that season and it was obvious that we would have to face him at some point to get to the promise land. His hip injury ended any thought of that classic showdown that never happened.

Now, the Bills were clearly at the top of their game that afternoon. Even with him they don’t beat us. Still, I often wonder what if that game was a little closer. What if the Bills had to grid out that win instead of ending it before halftime? What if the over confident and inexperienced Bills faced adversity the week before they headed to Tampa? Would they have gone down there ready to shutdown boring old Otis Anderson after stopping a superstar like Bo? I have asked myself this question for years and continue to think the answer is yes. What if, man. What if.

Christmas could come early for all of Western New York if the Bills can go to Oakland and take care of business this weekend. I am sure most of you know what we need to happen, but as Bills fans you might have more fun cheering for our old friend Stevie Johnson. His 49ers take on the Charger in a home prime time matchup on national television. That would help out and so would a Pittsburgh win over the Chiefs at Heinz Field. The Bills of course need a win to stay alive against one of their oldest rivals.

The Raiders have struggled to be productive on both sides of the ball this year, but they would love to crush any playoff hope for our beloved franchise. This year has been such a bizarre and bumpy ride for Bills fans. Frustrated our not, if someone told you back in August that the Bills would be 8-6 headed to Oakland most if not all of us would have taken it. Now that the chips have fallen into place, the Bills must go out to Cali and make it a business trip. The defense must smother that young Raiders offense so that Orton and the offense can get going early. The Bills should be able to get ahead and stay ahead if they can control the Raiders at the line of scrimmage. They are due for a big game on the ground and a balanced attack of Freddie, Boobie, and CJ should get it done. There is no excuse for a loss out west this weekend. That’s why I think they win big and get a shot to continue this fairy tale finish against the biggest two headed dragon of all.