LeSean McCoy averaged 2.4 yards per carry, Sammy Watkins gained nothing, and Marcell Dareus was invisible. I presume the Buffalo Bills got trounced in the opener, and yet I have vague memories of a rather convincing win. Thank management for stacking this squad with more talent than it can use at once, which creates the best sort of problem to have. This team must continue to make use of its ample options even if some get their turn skipped.
One player emerged as an overnight success after a few years. Tyrod Taylor was eased into the job in a way that differed from sticking EJ Manuel behind center in his first NFL game. Thank the Ravens for sitting on this egg. There were fewer wasted snaps than anticipated, which is a promising sign for fans hoping the adjustment period to pro starter is at a pace as swift as his 31-yard gain.
Months of preparation can change after five minutes of play. All the offseason predictions and rankings are useless except as ways to pass the non-football era, although I’ll cherish precious memories of wasting precious nice days by watching the NFL Network in May. Likewise, this game doesn’t affect the next aside from the record left on film for enemies to scour, which is the only good thing to come from the suspension of new and true Buffalonian Dareus.
We yearn for more of the same. Remembering the convincing thrashing of the formidable Colts is only one game would be the identical advice offered for a less pleasant result. This team can only focus on continuing to embrace its strengths, an obvious idea that frustratingly hasn’t been pursued in these parts since 2000. Please pass and blitz like that again.
The first game of the first full Pegula season felt different. One example of forward progress came while looking back, namely when honoring the late Lou Saban by at last putting his name on the wall. The long-deserved recognition didn’t happen previously because of his contentious relationship with Ralph Wilson, also honored Sunday, stemming from Saban’s habit of skipping town like a hobo. Lynyrd Skynyrd would call Saban the breeze. But a coach who presided over about one-third of this franchise’s bright moments finally gets honored during the second phase. Now, it’s time to add to memories of championships and 2,000-yard rushers.
We now have more concrete hope that this year’s model could add to happy recollections. Seeing the acquisitions in action is much better than talking about them for months while checking the clock to see if it’s game time yet. It was amazing to see the new guys suit up for real no matter how often we’ve discussed how neat it was going to be. For one, it still feels unbelievable that McCoy is really a Bill, as Shady shined on a few plays despite not accumulating gaudy statistics. A few dynamic dashes offered a preview of the Legend of LeSean. The prospect of better blocking coordination is another thing to optimistically look for in future games.
McCoy is one large-caliber weapon in a vast arsenal. Getting touchdowns from a purported gadget specialist reeling in a heck of a bomb and a backup rookie who ran like a starting star could only have been topped by Boobie reaching the end zone. Best of all, seeing Rex Ryan on the sideline for real is like riding Space Mountain for the first time: knowing it’s going to be exhilarating can’t prepare for the actual blissful jolts. We have the sort of dream coach who praises the fans first at the postgame press conference before referencing the beer he was about to consume. Ryan doesn’t have to be from Buffalo to be of it.
Now, make exhibits into patterns. There’s still 93.75 percent of the regular season left, although starting well was crucial. The Bills have to continue controlling their destiny against the team that’s dictated it. Speaking of which, this club knows that stupid cheaters from the Massachusetts branch office of the Legion of Doom have had extra time to game plan and tie together shoelaces. There’s nothing to do about it but use the way the league’s villains were handed yet one more advantage to get angrier. The Bills should feel lucky for a chance to administer justice: they can punish the Patriots in a way the feckless commissioner couldn’t.
A team celebrating previous chapters can keep dictating new ones. The opener was thrilling in a calmer way than usual. Determined athletes going about their business offer a reminder to not get carried away as they work to continue enjoyment. It turns out every AFC East team won’t go 16-0 this year despite wins for all during week one, so the Bills can continue to disregard past trends in favor of starting their own. Any club can look like it has a new personality than on the last Sunday. Luckily, this club’s goal after one display is consistency, not change. Buffalo focuses on readying its option to let other talented players thrive when convenient.