In 2017 when the Buffalo Bills named Sean McDermott the 19th head coach in franchise history, no one could have imagined the rebuild that was about to take place. Fans watched favorite players like Ronald Darby and Sammy Watkins get sent out the door for draft picks. A team filled with players that no one recognized that had no quarterback of the future. Seemingly it felt as if nothing was going to change. Yet, McDermott and Brandon Beane have constructed a roster that can win the whole damn thing. This week’s Thursday Thought: Four Years in the Making.
As McDermott yelled in the locker room following a 48-19 beatdown of the Denver Broncos, a win in which clinched the division, “Four years in the making.” As he yelled this, he got a bit emotional. It was this moment that put everything that he and Beane have been building over the past several years into perspective.
If someone told you in 2017 that the Bills would find their franchise quarterback and that the Bills would be in the AFC championship game, you would probably call them crazy. The thought of the Bills being in that position was unthinkable. For two decades we as fans had watched this team be mediocre at best with no long-term success insight.
As many liked to put it the Buffalo Bills were the Siberia of the NFL. A small city with bad weather and a lack of winning was all there was to the Buffalo Bills. However, piece by piece this team has gotten better under McBeane and the narrative of the Bills is changing.
Gone are the days of the Bills being the lovable losers. So are the days were the activities in the parking lot got more attention than what was happening on the field. It’s a different era of Buffalo Bills football. It’s also a culmination of not just a rebuild but the end of a dark and terrible chapter in Bills history.
From being a seven-win team in what felt like every season in the 21st century to being feared by all teams, it has been a wild transformation. As a fan, it’s still hard to grasp how good this team is. A top quarterback. THE top wideout. A dynamic offense. Coordinators that are top head-coaching candidates.
It’s been an amazing season, watching the Bills find themselves as a relevant and top-notch organization again. Buffalo is no longer the Siberia of the NFL, but rather a place where you come to win. All of a sudden bandwagon fans are popping up. Let me repeat that. BANDWAGON BUFFALO BILLS FANS ARE A THING NOW.
It’s been four years in the making. All of the sadness, frustration, and heartbreak have led to this. A chance to go to the Super Bowl. An opportunity to bring home something the city of Buffalo has never had. A Lombardi Trophy.