BY DAN BEGNOCHE
The Buffalo Bills are 2-2 overall, on par with the likes of the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants.
And in the AFC East, their record is on par with what they're used to. That, however, isn't a good thing.
Both of Buffalo's losses have been against divisional foes, and they were ugly. In those two defeats, the Bills gave up a combined 100 points, with 31 coming in the fourth quarter last Sunday in a loss to the New England Patriots. And though their two victories may have been impressive performances on both sides of the ball, many are still wondering: Are the Bills just a divisional afterthought?
“We haven't done anything to prove otherwise,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick told reporters Monday.“We came out of the gates and struggled versus the Jets and the Patriots, so in order to change that perception we have to go out there and win games, and unfortunately our first two divisional games we played poorly.”
Buffalo's numbers are polar opposites in its wins and losses across a few categories. In their victories against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns, the Bills allowed an average of 92 rushing yards. In their divisional matchups, Buffalo allowed double that.
They tallied nine sacks and allowed only one against in their wins, but were only able to grab one sack while allowing three in their losses. And perhaps the biggest indicator: Buffalo only turned the ball over once in its two wins but turned it over 10 times in their two losses.
Coach Chan Gailey downplayed the scores and statistics when talking to the media on Monday.
“I'm more concerned with how we play and the intensity, the quality of our play than I am with the numbers that are thrown out there," he said. "The quality of play isn't where it needs to be.”
Buffalo joined nine other teams this week at .500, including the Patriots and Jets. But only two of those nine teams are facing the uphill battle that Buffalo is currently facing: an 0-2 start in their division.
“This (New England game) was a big game for us," Fitzpatrick said. "Buddy (Nix) said to use this game as a measuring stick for where you are. I think it showed us we weren't as far along as we thought we were.”
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