Autopsy Report: Bills destroy Raiders 34-14, love being disrespected

Here we go again! Photo of LB Matt Milano from

There hasn’t been a chip this big on the shoulders of the Buffalo Bills since the days of the “Bickering Bills” during the late 1980s. That boulder rolled over the Oakland Raiders and destroyed their will to win at New Era Field in an epic 34-14 victory for Buffalo on Sunday. The game featured four turnovers by a Bills defense that refused to give QB Derek Carr or anyone on the Raiders offense a chance to retaliate.

Those who remember the Bills of the late 80s probably recall the attitude of players who hissed at the national media for ignoring their rising status in the NFL. Those Bills teams were grumpy, even with each other at times. I believe it might have been Thurman Thomas who stood up to the media back then and basically called them out for disrespecting the team. The “us against he world” mantra was thus created and the end result was the four Super Bowl appearances that followed.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon in the Bills’ locker room and Jordan Matthews gets asked by reporters about how it felt for the team to be 5-2. He immediately launches into a lecture about how the national media ignores them. It clearly strikes a nerve with this team and Sean McDermott is playing on that irritation like a violin.

Photo of S Micah Hyde from

A few weeks back after beating Denver and then Atlanta, safety Micah Hyde had some choice words to share on the subject.

“Were just a bunch of misfits that came here to Buffalo. We’re trying to have one common goal, and that’s win,” Hyde said. “Win throughout the week, and then come Sunday, find anyway we can to get a win.”

So this Bills team just keeps rolling along stacking more wins and getting angrier by the week.

Oh… and by the way, what in the world is happening with all these turnovers? 

While it’s tempting to simply claim good luck (long overdue for the Bills), there’s something far more important going on that I believe explains the reason for the +14 turnover statistic. Sean McDermott is teaching a strategy that has proven benefit to millions of people seeking better quality of life… mindfulness.


Mindfulness is more than just a state of mind, it’s a strategy for working through anxiety, depression and helps to improve performance. The focus is on being in the moment, totally and completely. When you become skilled at the strategy, you become instinctively able to focus completely on the task at hand and block out all distractions.

This skill is achieved most effectively through exercises in meditation that train your mind to control your thoughts. For all its “hocus-pocus”, football players can definitely benefit from this extremely useful tool. Getting even a split-second advantage by a player seeing a football and being able to focus more effectively on creating a turnover is invaluable.

Photo of Sean McDermott from

There’s no question opportunity must be there for a turnover to occur. What’s makes mindfulness strategies work in this regard is that the player is able to create the opportunity rather than passively waiting for it to happen. Here is where McDermott has helped his players elevate their mindfulness regarding turnovers.

And finally… I find the commentary on radio and television lately about “all this cultural stuff might just be working” quite amusing and frankly personally validating. After spending the better part of two decades being castigated for my psychobabble, along comes this coach who completely gets my focus and why intangibles matter more than incremental differences in talent. Go Bills.


Editor’s babble: If you’re looking for me today, I’ll be floating around on white puffy clouds and smiling at you from the sky… our Bills are back and it’s safe to come out of the root cellar. And if you’re a real glutton for punishment, you can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynMundyWYO.

14 Replies to “Autopsy Report: Bills destroy Raiders 34-14, love being disrespected”

  1. Thanks for the article Robyn! What a game yesterday. IMO, it was the best all-around game the Bills played all season long. Going into the game, I felt if the Bills were going to win, it would be another nail-biter similar to last week’s game vs the Bucs. It was great seeing a decisive win by the Bills.

    First off, the turnovers made by the defense/special teams were incredible. Matt Milano’s INT/TD was a game changer (right place, right time). Even though the Raiders recovered, it was awesome seeing Bills kicker, Stephen Hauschka strip the ball from the Raiders player on a kick return.

    While Taylor didn’t put up eye popping numbers, he was efficient and made plays when needed. What impressed me the most with Taylor was his ability to avoid the sack yesterday and he made many escapes from the pocket. Glad to see Shady have a great yesterday and rip off a 40+ yard TD to seal the game.

    Well, we’ve been here many times before at 5-2, we’re at the point where the Bills can break new territory this century and go 6-2 this Thursday. So far I’m loving this season, but I am still a little reserved with my enthusiasm as we’ve been burnt by the Bills so many times over the past 17 years. Let’s hope McDermott and the Bills can keep it going.

  2. Steve- Happy belated birthday!

    I got concerned when the Raiders drove for a touchdown right away, then the announcers mentioned the Bills have only scored 6 points in the first quarter all year. Knowing how many the Raiders scored on the Chiefs, I knew the Bills couldn’t keep up with that scoring.

    The Bills are not generating a ton of offensive yardage, they are heavily dependent on the defense to create turnovers and score/shorten the field. What happens when they don’t create turnovers?

    • Thanks Greg!

      Good points about the offense. What is a concern to me is that the Bills are mainly generating FG’s after turnovers instead of TD’s. They have to get better at generating more points in those situations.

  3. I wouldn’t worry about the press. the more you harp on them the more they’ll play their “ignore-game”. Besides the Bills seem much too focused to be ANGRY at something as inconsequential as the what the press is up to. That’s the only part of your article that didn’t ring true.

    I often wondered why teams didn’t seem to be meditating and the result as fans could see was watching the Bills miss opportunities.
    You said it perfectly “…the player is able to create the opportunity rather than passively waiting for it to happen. ”
    Also yoga stretching to avoid injury.
    So many plays yesterday that put the Bills in the upper class of winning atheletes.
    I could go on, but have to run.
    Thank you for a great article.

    • Hi Ruth!

      Thanks for your comments. You’re right about the word “angry” regarding the media, probably a bit too strong of a word. I don’t think the players care a fig what the media says tbh, but I think they are using the fact that they are being ignored nationally as one more way to fuel their motivation. LeSean McCoy several weeks ago (after the ATL win I believe) was all fired up at the media after the win. So I do think there is irritation there, and McDermott probably inflames it as much as he can :) Great to have you here with our discussion group!

      Take care,


  4. thanks robyn, the bills never get any respect and never will until they win a super bowl. even yesterday most of the media were saying how badly the raiders have fallen and not how far the bills have risen. heck with ’em.

    steve, completely agree and am still very much reserved (for this season) because we all know the bottom could fall out at any moment. i thought it was going to be a radiers route after their first drive and would it surprise anyone if they went on a skid?
    beat the patriots and clinch a playoff spot. until then i’ll enjoy them one game at a time with no expectations.

    • You’re right about the Bills not getting any respect. I checked today and there were no articles regarding the Bills anywhere on the site. I hope the team keeps using that lack of respect as fuel each and every week.

  5. Thanks Robyn for the great article! Sure is a great feeling on Monday to knowing the Bills won. Let’s feel great this Friday when we beat the Jets.

    Happy, happy belated bday Steve!

    You really see the TEAM concept this year with the Bills. Truly, coaching does make a huge difference. “Trust the process”.

  6. Goooooood Morning…

    the whole aura around the team is changed and it is only the tip of the ice berg… They are learning how to win and playing to win instead the wait and see an hope everything goes their way. They are in attack mode!!

    The Defense is created turnovers at a record pace and the offense is starting to come around… Bring on the Jets !!

    The Pats trading Garofalo (sp) for only a 2nd round pick was a surprise. Wasn’t the talk about getting a boatload of picks for him last draft? Must be because he may end up being a FA if the 49ers can’t sign him.

    What a mess the Gators are — how fast the wheels came off with McELwain and the football program!!

    It has been a great World Series so far, extremely entertaining.

    The Sabres Suck again this year!

  7. I’m still not ‘sold’ the Bills are all that great, but the league isn’t all that great so all it takes is to be solid and consistent, which they have been. It’s impressive what they’re doing. Going into the year, I was pretty much ready to mock their ‘trust the process’ crap…but it’s working. I’m shocked they were able to unload Dareus, too.

    “The Pats trading Garofalo (sp) for only a 2nd round pick was a surprise. Wasn’t the talk about getting a boatload of picks for him last draft? Must be because he may end up being a FA if the 49ers can’t sign him.”

    I think it was pretty much keep Brady or move onto Garoppolo as it’s a bit cost prohibitive to do both. Looks like Brady still has something left in the tank so…

    Was in Orlando over the weekend. We almost went to Beef O’ Brady’s as I see Goose and Gary always talk about it…but couldn’t figure out if that’s just because it’s where the games are on or if it’s actually good food. I didn’t find anything too impressive food-wise while we were there. One place on the Cocoa Beach pier had great seafood according to my wife, but I hate seafood. I ended up eating wings and burgers all weekend…none of which were anything special. And places we went’s idea of spicy was pretty sad. ‘Nuclear’ was like Franks Red Hot at one place and habanero Tabasco and another, which at least has some heat and is pretty good, but is pretty generic and unoriginal when that’s a place’s answer for spicy sauce. I’ve been to several places in multiple states now that use that as their ‘secret’ super spicy sauce.

  8. Good Morning…

    Joma you’re right about Beef O Brady’s, it is average at best and never consistent. The one we use to go to use to be packed for the games but now you can go bowling in there it is so quiet. The Wings stink and for a while they went to a pre-made burger (which were awful).