The Buffalo Bills are 0-2, and the road isn’t getting any easier. In fact, it’s about to become even more difficult.
The Bills will face the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots — two of the NFL’s best teams — in Weeks 3 and 4, respectively, leaving the door open for Buffalo to begin its season 0-4. Known for his bravado, Bills head coach Rex Ryan is embracing the challenge with some more bold statements and, in turn, leaving himself open to additional criticism.
“It might be the best team in the league, and maybe this is the exact team we need to play,” Ryan told reporters Monday while discussing the Bills’ upcoming matchup with the Cardinals. “And it’s back-to-back weeks, by the way. You got (Cardinals coach) Bruce Arians this week, and you got (Patriots coach Bill) Belichick next week. So it’s like, OK, there’s a few more easier options than those two, but maybe this is exactly what we need.”
The Bills have been all over the place through two weeks, losing their season opener to the Baltimore Ravens 13-7 and then suffering a 37-31 defeat to the New York Jets last Thursday night. Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman was shown the door following the Week 2 loss, and Ryan might soon find himself on the hot seat if Buffalo doesn’t turn its season around — a tall task given the team’s schedule.
“I think if you’re coming down, you’re 0-2, our expectations were much higher than that. Against these two teams right here, it’s clear that they’re playing as good as any teams in the league. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” Ryan said of the Bills’ games against the Cards and Pats. “I can’t see anybody playing better than what I saw on tape. So we’ll get to see us immediately.
“I see we’ve had struggles. There’s no doubt about that. We’ve been far from perfect. I get that. But we’ll see how we measure up against maybe the best in the league here.”
Ryan took responsibility Monday, saying the Bills’ 0-2 start falls on his shoulders if people are looking for someone to blame. Neither his accountability nor his confidence going into Weeks 3 and 4 should come as much of a surprise, though.
That’s typically how Ryan operates, for better or worse.
Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images