Optimism Absent As Buffalo Bills Open Face-Down

Photo of QB Nathan Peterman from zimbio.com.

It’s only one game.  But it’s the only game we have.  And it happens to be the worst we’ve ever seen.  Truth is the only defense needed against charges of hyperbole.  The Buffalo Bills looked like a Football Championship Subdivision team playing in an ACC stadium, so I hope they at least got a big payday.  This franchise needs more scholarships.  I have bad news if they’re tanking for Rasmus Dahlin.

Consistency is overrated when it means committing a crime against the sport in every phase.  The 2018 Bills can’t even fall on the ball properly.  To be fair, the Ravens had an extra week to prepare this offseason thanks to Andy Dalton.

We waited months to learn a year’s going to be awful in a single afternoon.  Time is the worst.  Measure how tough a campaign’s going to be by seeing how long it took after kickoff before scrolling through social media.  I was seeing who on Facebook had a birthday before the first Bud Light ad irked me.

And why wallow in pain when commerce distracts from everything?  I got an email during the most appalling game from Old Navy advising me NFL apparel was half off.  In lieu of paying attention to the atrocity, I shopped for charging buffalo stuff to wear when they improve.  Someday.

Who am I kidding?  I’ll don a Bills shirt this Sunday because I’ve clearly self-identified as a masochist.  This isn’t quite the first time the team in question has executed unimpressively to open a season, although they somehow found a way to perform more hideously than ever before.  I didn’t think it was possible.  You win again, fate.

Undeterred by Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25), Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tavon Young sacks quarterback Nathan Peterman (2) during the first quarter on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images).

Anyone who’s been around for over a year is almost impressed they managed to be worse.  Buffalo missed the email that defenses are supposed to have the advantage during the opener.  They bent but also broke.  At least the offense looked like foreign exchange students new to American football.

Fans have the right to overreact as if their team looked like Henry Hill warned them not to beat the point spread.  Lager-influenced weepy 0-16 predictions from emotionally shattered adults are common on talk radio after every opening loss.  But the drama queens may be right.  It’s tough to see the Bills being competitive in any game this season if that’s the effort baseline.  How do you think this team will do against New England?

Nobody gets to use anyone else as an excuse.  A tornado of a trash fire was not a fair test for Nathan Peterman any more than it was for LeSean McCoy.  But that doesn’t change that the preseason superstar looks like he flew under the draft radar for a reason.  For now, a quarterback surprising nobody pulled a Blutarsky with a rating of zero point zero. 

It may not be a good sign when fans wonder if the team should let the rookie quarterback work through nightmares while awake.  Let’s kindly classify this team’s chances of repeating as wild card losers as remote.  Josh Allen will undoubtedly struggle at times thanks to his raw skill and barren environment.  But going with him now would provide needed repetitions instead of duplicating Sunday’s monstrosity with nothing to show for it.

The only case against playing the team’s most prominent rookie is the possibility of leaving him on the Moon without oxygen.  In another sign of how swell the opener went, Bills fans fret whether Allen would be too scared for his well-being to play through shortcomings.  But the franchise should get through his struggling now while it’s in vogue.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Tim Williams (56) rushes in to wrap up Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) for a sack during the third quarter on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images).

Waiting for better circumstances could take years.  The intended savior has to face challenges.  Luckily, the Bills offer plenty of them.  If Allen’s development would be crimped because of stressful work conditions, it’s an indictment of both him and the team.  The future’s with the seventh overall pick, not the fifth-rounder.  What’s the worst that could happen if Allen starts: they lose by 44?

The fact there’s a discussion about how to train quarterbacks indicates how smoothly football began.  Treating a season as training for the next is a fun way to preview game two.  The amount of salary cap space available in 2019 doesn’t provide much comfort now.

It’s one thing to lose, but don’t look like you’re trying to commit insurance fraud.

You can legally throw anyone who implores you to remember it’s only one game from a moving car.  A small sample size doesn’t change how there’s presently nothing pleasant to anticipate.  One game presently constitutes 100 percent of each team’s results, which is regrettable if you just embarrassed the Ghost of Bronco Nagurski.  For most clubs, this week is about seeing who can adjust alignments and play balance by the second outing.  Buffalo is going to work on getting knots out of shoelaces.

The first Sunday shouldn’t ruin hopes for the rest of them.  Half of all fans will be disappointed after displaying remarkable patience, with Pittsburgh and Cleveland backers combining to equal one.  But our fanbase feels like we fell into a black hole. The second-worst loss in team history is quite the reward for enduring the offseason from a very kind universe.

An opener that godforsaken prompts fans to switch from trusting the process to processing the trust.  There’s a difference between a transitional season and only technically showing up.  The Pegulas aren’t going to abandon Sean McDermott until after next season at the earliest.  But nobody who looks wholly unprepared is owed patience.

Humiliation may as well be thorough.  The franchise kindly lowered our expectations for the next 15 games.  It’ll be hard to be this disappointed again.  Be glad nothing went right, as we’d otherwise get our hopes up.  Until I find a pro team, I’m a Bills fan.

Editor’s babble: Ouch. Anthony Bialy nailed this one. Thanks to Anthony for getting us through another disaster with his acerbic commentary. It helps to know someone else can articulate our pain. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy. 

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

6 Replies to “Optimism Absent As Buffalo Bills Open Face-Down”

  1. Stat of the day: McDillnuts already has 5 losses of 20 or more points. Wrecks didn’t have any 20 point losses… Trust the process?

  2. Throwing your QB of the future (who you’re trying to have around for 10-15 years) behind the current Bills O-line is a recipe for disaster. Good luck on Sunday Josh, you’re going to need it!

  3. McD won (5) games vs playoff teams in one season vs. Rex (2) games in (2) seasons. I trust the process.

  4. The Bills “failure” in the opener reflected a failure of coaching. McDermott has overstepped himself time and time again. His last brilliant move: trading the number 3 pick in the whole draft for a 5th round draft pick!!! You can’t win with coaching like that.