It is hard to be a Buffalo Bills’ fan without that 17-year playoff drought in the back of the mind. It hangs like a dark cloud before every game for Buffalo. It infiltrates the brain in mid-season. For the last three weeks, Bills fans have tasted the bitterness of another possible year of being shut out of the post-season. This past Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers blew the lid off the team’ s offense and defense with a 54-24 win. The New Orleans Saints embarrassed Buffalo with a 47-10 beating in Week 9. The Buffalo Bills had a meltdown against the New York Jets on Thursday Night football, with a 34-21 thrashing.

Now at 5-5, the Bills’ playoff chances are in jeopardy. The good news is that the only way to go is up. Can Buffalo turn it around and look like the same powerhouse it was at 5-2?

Nate Peterman’s pulse is all but dead

Coach Sean McDermott’s decision to name Nate Peterman the starter for the Chargers’ game was understandable. The Buffalo Bills are 29th in first downs for 2017, as stated by ESPN. The only teams that are worse in that area are the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Indianapolis Colts. None of those teams have posted more than four wins. Moving the chains is what the game is all about in this league. Consecutive three-and-outs were a problem for quarterback Tyrod Taylor. While he was not the only problem on offense, Taylor’s penchant to hold onto the ball too long, take sacks, and toss check downs when behind in a game, despite receivers being wide open, did not help his cause.

While Buffalo does not have ultra-talented wide receivers, Tyrod Taylor still needed to take some chances downfield. He did not do that enough in 10 games. Taylor’s 56 yards of passing against the Saints put another nail in his coffin. Hence, McDermott wanted to take a chance with Peterman, who seemed to have a quicker release than Taylor.

That decision blew up like a stick of dynamite yesterday. Peterman’s first interception was not his fault, as the perfect pass bounced off Patrick DiMarco’s hands and into the grips of the Chargers’ defenders for a pick-six. That seemed to rattle Peterman, who threw four more picks in the first half. Taylor played the second half of the game.

While McDermott did not commit to who would play in in this week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Peterman’s starting quarterback pulse seems dead right now. Buffalo’s forced turnovers have also been dead for the last three games. The Raiders are the team's last win.

The AFC playoff picture standings

Right now, the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots are running away with the AFC Conference. Both are standing tall at 8-2. The Jacksonville Jaguars are 7-3 with the Chiefs on their tails at 6-4. The Tennessee Titans are also 6-4, with the Baltimore Ravens clinging to the last wildcard spot of 5-5. That puts the Bills at number seven, as they hope to turn things around.

Sudden change is nothing new for this team.

They have watched Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby, and Marcell Dareus walk out their door to new teams. The Bills did them a favor, as all of them are now playing for franchises with winning records.

The Bills players must be feeling the pressure and doubt, as not making the post-season inches closer to reality. Fans are experiencing the same emotions. Said Mark, a caller on Sal Capaccio’s “Extra Point Show” this morning on WGR, “How many more indignities do we have to suffer? It is team that is a victim of itself.” The caller went on to say that it is a team that looks like it has lost about 30 players.

Hopefully, the Bills can find themselves when they visit the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday. A win would instill some confidence in a team that is sputtering under the demise of itself. Time to clean up the process, Buffalo. Forget about that ugly playoff curse and play from the heart.