This past Sunday, Vontae Davis of the Buffalo Bills pulled one of the ultimate power moves in sports history. After getting obliterated in Week 1 by the Baltimore Ravens with a final score of 47-3, the Bills were down 28-6 at halftime against the Los Angeles Chargers. It was at that point that the veteran cornerback, playing in his 10th season, simply changed out of his pads, left the locker room and retired.
Davis did not tell any of his teammates, as they had to find out from people on the sideline who had seen the news on their phones. That shows just how bad the Bills are this season and adds to all the drama surrounding the team. After just one week, the Bills have replaced their starting quarterback, and now they have had a player quit in the middle of the game.
The most shocking part about this whole situation is the fact that the Bills made the playoffs last year. Everything was looking up for them, but they are just one of those franchises that will always make the wrong decisions. After Tyrod Taylor led them to the playoffs, they decided to trade him away to the Cleveland Browns for a third-round pick.
If the thought when trading Taylor was to give whatever star rookie quarterback they got in the draft a chance, I can respect that. Josh Allen could very well become a star in the NFL one day. But Week 1, they decided Nathan Peterman would be their starting quarterback.
Last season in Nathan Peterman’s first start, he had what was probably the worst performance by a quarterback in a half in the history of football. Against the Chargers last season, Peterman completed six of fourteen pass attempts to his teammates, and five of his pass attempts were caught by the opposing team’s players. Five interceptions in a single half is unheard of, and honestly Peterman’s starting opportunities should have ended after that.
But in typical Bills fashion, they gave him another chance at the start of this season, pushing off Josh Allen’s first career start. Peterman’s season-opening start went about as well as everyone expected it to. He completed five of 18 pass attempts for a whopping 24 yards and threw two interceptions.
On the third drive of the third quarter Allen went in to replace Peterman, and he completed six of 15 passes for 74 yards. In the Bills’ second game, Allen got his first career start, and while the outcome was not what Bills fans hoped for, Allen did have some bright moments. He finished the game going 18 of 33 for 245 yards and one touchdown.
Allen obviously should have been the opening day starter for the Bills and really does have the potential to be a franchise quarterback, it will just probably not be with the Bills, knowing their history of decision making.
The Bills’ schedule also does not get much more favorable for them. Their next two games will be against the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, two perennial powerhouses. The Vikings’ defense is one of the best in the league, and the Packers have arguably the best player in the league in Aaron Rodgers.
All in all, I do not blame Vontae Davis for leaving a team so riddled with problems. He did not mention anything about the Bills’ mediocrity in the statement he released. Davis said that it was his body that was no longer physically able to play at the high level he expected of himself.
Davis played nine years in the NFL before this year, his first three with the Miami Dolphins, and then his next six with the Indianapolis Colts. With the Colts, he went to back-to-back Pro Bowls following the 2014 and 2015 seasons. This would have been Davis’ first year with the Bills, and maybe he thought he would have a chance to make a playoff run, seeing that the Bills were relatively young and had already made the playoffs the year before.
With just a few more parts, they may have been ready to become a serious contender in the AFC.
But again, that hope ignores the fact that the Bills are the Bills. They have four Super Bowl appearances, yet have never won one. That is tied for the most appearances without a championship to show for it.
To add to the pain, those four Super Bowl appearances came in four consecutive seasons from 1990 to 1993. Coming that close in four straight years and still not having anything to show for it is the ultimate sign of the Bills being the Bills.Their playoff appearance last year, while short-lived, was a step in the right direction for the team, as it was their first in this millennium (their last came in 1999).
Even with that step in the right direction, it is hard not to think all their moves this offseason can be thought of as two steps back, and their first two weeks of the season have just confirmed that. Between Nathan Peterman’s inability to throw the football to his own teammates and Vontae Davis hanging his cleats in the middle of a game, this year has all the makings of a roller coaster in all the wrong ways for the Bills.