Super Bowl hopes justified

Bills fans are certainly justified in feeling that the team can compete for a berth in the Super Bowl. Of course, every team feels like they have a shot at this point. But the way the Bills finished last season – with an overall record of 8-8; a five-game improvement from 2001 – and the moves they've made this off-season, there is a reason to be very optimistic about the upcoming season.

And being optimistic in the NFL means always thinking about the Super Bowl.

Obviously, there are teams with realistic chances and teams that are long shots. Two years ago, when Tom Donahoe and Gregg Williams came aboard, there was excitement, but the team's Super Bowl chances weren't realistic. The difference between now and two years ago is that now they're excited about the players. Two years ago people were excited about a leadership change. That was a huge leadership change too, with Tom Donahoe taking over and being the first person other than Ralph Wilson Jr. ever to have the title of president.

There is a much different type of excitement now than there was two years ago. But I think, yes, Super Bowl talk is justified. I think this team has as much or probably more real reason than most NFL teams to believe it's going to go deep into the playoffs and perhaps get to the Super Bowl.

To make the Super Bowl, though, you have to be recipients of good fortune. But that goes for everybody. If the roof caves in or the charter crashes – knock wood – or if something unbelievable happens and they lose a couple of key guys, that'll have a major impact. The expectations would change.

Look at the Miami Dolphins last year. They were sailing along great at 5-1 and then Jay Fiedler went down, Ray Lucas came in, and the team went 2-4 – including two big losses to the Bills. The Dolphins literally never recovered from Fiedler's injury.

Clearly, that would be a worse case scenario ... other than the charter going down.

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