The Buffalo Bills have been absent from the National Football League post-season since 1999, but 61 percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say this is the year their playoff drought ends.
Bills fans’ hopes have risen, stoked by the hiring of Rex Ryan as head coach and the signing of running back
LeSean McCoy and several other key free agents. New quarterback Tyrod Taylor, while untested in regular-season play, also has generated excitement among Bills watchers. Last month, the Bills topped 60,000 in season ticket sales for the first time in franchise history.
Readers are much more optimistic about the Bills now than in January. In a poll shortly after the naming of Ryan as head coach, just 40 percent of readers thought the team would make the playoffs this season.
The team’s season starts Sept. 13 at home against the Indianapolis Colts. The following week, the New England Patriots—the reigning Super Bowl champions—come to Buffalo.
On Sept. 3, a federal judge erased the four-game suspension NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had imposed on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his role in Deflategate, the alleged underinflation of footballs in last year’s AFC championship game between the Patriots and Colts. The judge did not rule on whether Brady tampered with footballs; rather, he said the league’s collective bargaining agreement with its players barred a suspension in this case.
The Patriots also were fined $1 million and forfeited two draft picks, actions that team owner Robert Kraft has said he would not appeal.
Nearly three-quarters of readers side with Goodell in the Deflategate controversy.
Just shy of 500 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted Sept. 8.
Do you think the Buffalo Bills will make the playoffs this season?
Are you likely to attend one or more Bills home games this season?
Yes (season ticket holder): 3%
In the Deflategate controversy, whose side are you on: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?
Roger Goodell: 73%
Tom Brady: 27%
For information on how the Snap Polls are conducted, click here.
The Bills are perennial losers, and this season will continue the record. Who really cares about the pseudo controversy over football inflation? America needs to focus on more important matters.
—Wayne Donner, Rush
I’m going to go with my hope and say the Bills make the playoffs; not a Rex fan, but teams generally get a performance boost when a new coach arrives, and the team is improved. QB still somewhat of a question and, of course, the Bills’ nemesis—injuries—could always rise up. As for Brady, who really knows the true facts about what he did or didn’t do? His career is forever tarnished.
—David Lamb, Rochester
Deflategate: It seems cheating is OK as long as you win. They wouldn’t have deflated the balls if they didn’t think it would matter. What else are they doing that’s against the rules?
—Donald Dinero, TWI Learning Partnership
Enough about PSI and punitive measures, let’s play some football! If the Bills want to get to the playoffs, Deflategate is the least of their worries.
—Mike Bergin, president, Chariot Learning
I turned against Brady when he took the matter to court. The NFL is a private organization and should be allowed to settle its own internal disputes under its own rules. The judge should not have agreed to hear the case.
Amazing the penalty wasn’t harsher. Someone acting on behalf of Team A intentionally tampered with vital equipment in a manner having an adverse effect on Team B, and the sanction was limited to about 15 seconds worth of advertising revenue. Neither the perpetrator nor those intimate with the details of the incident have been penalized. How pathetic that Brady, Goodell and company lack the fortitude to demonstrate that cheaters can’t win and that dishonesty is punished.
—Dorver Kendig, Webster
Too much has already been said in the media about Deflategate. If Brady just came out and said that he likes his balls on the low pressure side, this issue would be over now. Instead, he covered it up, lied and threw out his phone that had evidence. For these factors he should be penalized. I’m glad he will be playing against the Bills because we want to play against the best. This will be a good test to see if the Bills are really a playoff team.
The Bills will make the playoffs because they’ve drastically upgraded their offensive playmaking talent to be a smash-mouth, run-first team, complementing their dynamic defense. Their quartet of all-pros on the defensive line will stop the run, rush the passer and allow their new veteran defensive-minded head coach to be even more creative in his blitz packages.
—Gregg Dinino, PR director, Roberts Communications
Somebody needs to be responsible and suffer the consequences for Deflategate. Jim McNally, John Jastremski, Brady, Bill Belichick, Kraft—SOMEBRADY!
—Mike McCusker, retired
This has to be one of the dumbest questions. The Bills will or won’t make the playoffs. Time will tell. That’s why we watch. Our opinions have nothing to do with that future fact. Brady cheats. Goodell runs a billion-dollar tax-free organization. They both are parasites on society.
—Jon Wilder, H&W Technology
Robert Kraft sure lost a lot of esteem on this one. He accepted the fine, never said a word about losing two draft picks, and worst of all, never defended Brady or said anything about his grossly inequitable suspension. Fortunately we’ve still got judges who are concerned with fairness!
—Hal Gaffin, Fairport
Bills: Much improved but without a franchise quarterback, I doubt they can make the playoffs. Deflategate: Too much to do over nothing! Besides, the penalty did not match the alleged crime!
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield
"I hated Tom Brady, now I really hate him," said every Bills fan ever. The whole throwing out of the Deflategate controversy just adds to the reasons why people will Love Brady and HATE Brady."
—John Costello, Rochester Business Journal
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