Hope. Anxiety. Confusion.

Those are just three of the words that come to mind after taking in the Buffalo Bills preseason home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday night.

Although the press box is enclosed from the elements that make football in Western New York such an adventure, the feeling in Ralph Wilson Stadium transcended glass panels -- nobody's really sure what to make of this team. There's plenty more questions than answers, although that's to be expected in the middle of August.

Should fans be hopeful that J.P. Losman's perfect 46-yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans can be interpreted as a sign of things to come?

Or should Bills nation worry that Losman's three first-half turnovers will just start the whole quarterback debate all over again?

Eight months and a day went by between the Bills' last home game in 2005 and Friday's contest.

That game on Dec. 17, 2005 was the low point of the Tom Donahoe era, a 28-17 nightmare of a loss to the Denver Broncos on national television, a contest that was marred by fights in the stands and fan outrage over the team's performance.

The Bills set out to change things in the offseason, replacing Donahoe with legendary coach-turned-general manager Marv Levy and hiring Dick Jauron to lead the team after Mike Mularkey abruptly resigned. Several veteran players were jettisoned -- including receiver Eric Moulds and safety Lawyer Milloy.

But for all the changes ,the performance on the field didn't look much different. The offense made game-changing mistakes and the defense couldn't get off the field at times.

Levy's presence and Jauron's refreshing truthfulness with fans and media alike are nice elements to have, but they mean little if the team's not competitive.

Jauron said the team did things it normally wouldn't do in terms of game procedure. Considering the final score, he'd better be right about that, or it could be a long four months

The surprising number of empty blue seats at the start of Friday's game goes to show that fans are taking a wait-and-see approach to the "new era."

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