It shouldn’t take fuming about a previous weak performance to do better. But you may as well thrash whatever hapless entity is next on the slate if a sour outing is there for motivation. The Buffalo Bills face a long quest to prove they’re not pretending after previously falling short against the usual behemoth.
A team facing preliminary peril couldn’t afford two divisional losses in a span of three games. Instead, they cloaked viciousness to flummox an adversary unable to located the point of attack. Based on attendance, many on the Miami Dolphins didn’t see the blitzes coming at all.
The delightfully cruel effort against the hapless home team served as a reminder to hate the Dolphins. This rivalry between cities that are as distinct as lager and cosmopolitans should be at the forefront. Buffalo backers can boast of their comparative dedication. I’m surprised there were enough fans in the erstwhile Joe Robbie Stadium to produce audible booing.
Too much sunshine provokes softness. Enough South Floridians anticipating a tough afternoon at Sun Life Stadium decided to instead drive their Lamborghinis to lounge at Art Deco hotels, or such. As a result of indifference, the game’s backdrop consisted of a sea of vacant seats the color of an L.L. Bean jacket in 1990. It’s hard to feel sympathy when you cheer for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the Clinton presidency and has 60,000 season ticket holders.
The thorough victory will hopefully create enmity. Fans who can now be classified as old school recall ’90s villainy, when the nemesis Dan Marino may as well have had his picture up on the wall of Erie County post offices. Now, he’s so unmemorable that I had to check if he was still employed as a pregame network analyst; he’s not, in case I’m the only one who was unsure. The league should hope both teams get back to prominence so that they can mutually flaunt palpable contempt. While we’re daydreaming, envision the Bills playing two games like this per year against the smug liquid-based mammals.
Sunday’s triumph was important even after the world ended following the letdown against the Patriots. This Mad Max post-apocalyptic world began more enjoyably than imagined. Getting to laugh at Miami is a special treat. Aside from the short-term merriment, the Bills positioned themselves well in the very early playoff race even if the Patriots run away with yet another dang division title. Speaking of the bully jerks, fans should be pleased how Buffalo rebounded after their temper got the best of them versus New England. Instead of randomly raging even more, they focused their energy on poor Ryan Tannehill. I don’t feel bad.
Now, I face a Sunday where I sort-of have keep my Bills cap-clad head on a swivel in Gotham. Sports seem like an afterthought in the New York City area if you’re not on the same block as the venue; in this case, you must cross a river first. There’s a different type of tepid enthusiasm with this fanbase stemming from basing the team in that other state. Maybe the next Jets/Giants stadium will finally be the one built on Manhattan’s West Side instead of New Jersey so I don’t have to take three train rides to salute those about to rock with AC/DC.
In football terms, I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game just so we can stop hearing about what Odell Beckham Jr. does compared to Sammy Watkins. Preston Brown had more catches than the ailing Bills wideout this past Sunday, and fans look forward to how the potentially thrilling Clemson man will perform once he’s both healed and working with a sharp quarterback. No comparison will ever be perfect any more than conditions will. But Watkins dreams of reaching full health while Tyrod Taylor ascends.
The rotation is in place if the Bills remember to keep spinning. The Mafia hopes the Giants decide to obsess over Percy Harvin while forgetting that Robert Woods is lurking on the formation’s end. Giving everyone a turn seems fair. More importantly, flipping through the rotation is the best way to confuse a weary foe. Buffalo could be the SimCity franchise: just when you’ve caught up by adding enough parks, you can’t afford to build police stations. The Pegulas will buy their citizens any services they want. Trying to keep pace with the Bills should resemble an endless challenge of spinning plates.
A good defensive coordinator orders different pizza toppings each time. Dennis Thurman ought to again unleash unseen blitzes next game. The crazily effective ones he called in Florida are part of team history, as this well-stocked defense has the luxury of trying new things. The bullfighter gored because he dodged the same way every time will confirm that variation spurs success. The Bills have the varied personnel that enables them to avoid patterns. Quality control coaches could be this franchise’s unsung heroes. Fans are lucky if they don’t know who will thrive next.