The Redskins and Bills are both 6-7 going into Sunday’s game. But the mood in Washington is definitely upbeat this week while there is disappointment in the air in Buffalo.
Part of the reason is that the Redskins are in the thick of the playoff race in the NFC East while the Bills’ postseason hopes are hanging by the barest of mathematical threads. But preseason expectations have something to do with it as well.
When the season started in September, few thought that the Redskins would be very much improved over the outfit that was 4-12 and outscored by 139 points in 2014. Meanwhile, the Bills hired Rex Ryan as their coach and his addition to a team that was 9-7 prompted many to put an up arrow next to them.
The way things are playing out it’s apparent that the Bills weren’t quite up to the high expectations, a fact that was recognized yesterday by one of the team’s highest-paid players.
“Of course, the hype was there and we all saw it and we all feel it as well; we’re a good team on paper,” defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said via the Buffalo News. “Getting a new head coach and stuff, his system has to get placed in and it doesn’t happen in a year. I think that we all missed that and looked at the pieces that we put in and forgot the big picture of letting it all set, seal and don’t touch it for a little bit. Let the cement harden and let" the coaches "know we’re on concrete.
“I feel like we jumped the gun on certain things, but we’re still playing together and we’re still moving closer and closer to what we’re looking for.”
Dareus was one of the reasons for the hype coming in. He posted 10 sacks in 2014 and earned first-team All-Pro honors. This year his sack total has plummeted to two in 12 games.
The Redskins are still flying under the radar. The Vegas line has this game somewhere between even and having the Bills as slight favorites. Again, the teams have the same record and the game is at FedEx Field.
No doubt, the Redskins would rather have an opportunity to play the disrespect card than have a need to slow down the hype train.