TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 30: Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after defeating the Washington Redskins 23-0 at Rogers Centre on October 30, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
This is right about the time of year when teams begin unofficially falling out of playoff contention. And we'd hate to see you waste your time with a team that has a fork in its back, which is why we present you with the DONE-O-METER, which helps us calculate which teams are done and which teams aren't. Today's subject: The Buffalo Bills.
TRENDING: Poorly. After waxing the Redskins in Canada (future home field advantage!), the Bills have lost their last two games by a combined score of 71-18. That's... bad. In fact, you could even argue that the Bills hot start to this season only deepened the team's rut, because they decided to commit $24 million guaranteed to Ryan Fitzpatrick as a result. In the past two games, Fitzpatrick has five interceptions and two touchdown passes. Oh. Take a look at Fitzpatrick's career stats and it would appear that he's in midst of a correction that Bills management could have and should have easily foreseen. Although I hear Fitzpatrick went to an Ivy League school, so he should at least use the money wisely.
SCHEDULE: Favorable, at least on the surface. Four of their last seven games come against teams with losing records. But that includes two games with the suddenly red hot Miami Dolphins (YOU CAN NO LONGER STOP REGGIE BUSH), along with the also red-hot Denver Broncos/Air Force Academy.
In an odd way, the losing teams left on Buffalo's schedule are more daunting than some of the reeling teams with winning records that they have to face (Jets, Titans). They also get one more tussle with the Patriots, this time in Gillette Stadium.
None of these games will be easy, not with the way this defense is currently playing. I've never seen a defense live and die by the interception quite like this one.
DONENESS: Medium. The Bills have been left to fight for a Wild Card slot with the likes of the Jets, Titans, Bengals, Ravens, and ALL of the AFC West. One of those AFC North teams is getting a slot.
The Bills actually have a favorable schedule compared to everyone else, but anecdotally I feel like every team that should waltz into a playoff spot always manages to blow it. This Bills team suddenly looks very much like the Bills team we thought they'd be. And if that's the case, .500 seems like a difficult mountain to climb.
The Bills aren't done yet. But don't be surprised if they find themselves looking up at Miami by year's end.