Finishing the Start Strong Matters Most for Buffalo Bills

Photo of WR John Brown and QB Josh Allen from

A team can prove how resilient they are by playing lousily first.  The Buffalo Bills found a way in game one to avoid ruining the whole offseason.  Making fans understand how wretched it could’ve been was a gesture of kindness that’ll remain unacknowledged.

The character arc led to personal growth even if they oscillated wildly before reaching maturity.  Bask in a win that was impressive considering the offense forgot the season started at 1 p.m.

Who was ready to renounce faith?  I’ve been repenting for days.  Let’s hope Saint James Kelly will forgive those of us who doubted our beloved side as they lagged behind the Jets, of all clubs.

Blame our rational connection to the temporal world.  Seeing patterns of misery repeating is natural, like when a favorite side starts off underwhelming in East Rutherford.  But a rough history doesn’t doom what happens next.  Life is frustrating enough that it’s most pleasant when novel.

NFL judges don’t award points for style, which is a big plus for a team working to define itself.  Buffalo’s opener may be left out of the centennial time capsule.  It’s not precisely a sign of progress that the 100th season features games like this.  But figuring how to prevail despite obstacles shows moxie that could’ve been featured in a Harold Lloyd movie.

The offseason is just long enough to forget how much anguish is involved in trying to wring fun out of watching others pursue a ball.  What should be the year’s most exciting sports commencement has often been laced with dread.  Thankfully, pain was as temporary as Cleveland’s Super Bowl hopes.

The Bills make you feel more human by inspiring every emotion over three hours.  An accelerated narrative saw patience evaporating by halftime.

Buildup adds context, as early struggles renewed memories of previous collapses.  Getting whooped to open, say, 2012 by Rex Ryan kept anyone from growing enthusiastic.  Neglecting to deploy a competent game plan was tiresome years ago. If they planned on setting up a theatrical comeback, then I’m impressed.

Going over eight months without the chance to score wasn’t taxing enough, as we were deprived of points for another two and a half quarters.  But we waited an eternity for the opener, so why not stick with it until time expires?

Photo of RB Devin Singletary from

There was no need to conceal someone whose abilities were already secret.  Coaches delayed surprising the world with Devin Singletary.  Cunningly lulling the Jets into a false sense of security was undoubtedly the plan all along, just like New Coke was a conspiracy to make sodie pop fans miss the original.

Having a dedicated back is a nice addition to a thriving running game.  The Bills cut LeSean McCoy because they have another skilled rusher in Josh Allen.

We would feel sorry for Jets fans if not for having endured the same frustrations countless times.  Oh, and they cheer for the Jets.  Any organization that still thinks Gregg Williams is worth hiring gets the karma it deserves.

A team should win when the defense scores.  But most teams aren’t the New York Jets.  Losing despite dominating the turnover battle is almost as bad as a kicker dooming an opener.  A now-unemployed putzing Norwegian’s inability to aim won’t bail out the Bills every week, so they better not count on facing players simultaneously seeing and participating in an American football game for the first time.

Trusting the process has become an inside joke.  But the principle of maintaining faith while offering criticism remains.  Perhaps a game plan for all four quarters would be beneficial even if it meant fewer thrills.  Does Sean McDermott read tweet replies to the Bills account for advice?

Photo of WR Antonio Brown from and Reuters.

Crummy things that don’t happen count as joy if it’s possible to sense avoiding agony.  Most notably, the Bills have the right Brown catching passes: going with John and not Antonio led to the undefeated preseason champions being tied for first in the whole league after one game. It’s nice not having to withstand a lunatic drama queen acting like he’s worth it.

Winning in the early slot meant getting to relax while loafing through the rest of the first Sunday’s slate.  Even watching Pittsburgh not show up despite having 31 fanbases on its side failed to ruin the opener.  The Bills have to share the divisional lead for now, I guess.

Maybe the most talented Patriot will doom them once he starts playing.  It seems unlikely that Antonio Brown will be the one who finally spoils chemistry.  But so did coming back from being down 16.

It’s not to devote attention to the evil dojo the Bills aren’t playing until month’s end. But the showdown looms like the Death Star coming within range twice yearly.  Thinking of Tom Brady citing Ed Oliver in his retirement announcement remains a wholly justified daydream. But wild hopes would’ve felt useless if they hadn’t pulled it together by the first game’s end.

The moment life actually happens feels weird.  There’s so much time discussing what’ll happen that an actual contest feels like overdosing on excitement.

Bracing for it to be rotten is a habit as ingrained for Bills fans as wondering what happened to Kiko Alonso. Deep into the second half, a dismaying effort seemed to offer confirmation that everything sucks. But conditions occasionally improve.

Who’s ahead of themselves?  There would’ve been zero hope for the rest of the schedule if this roster couldn’t overcome New Jersey’s junior franchise.  Looking forward to something for most of a year only to have it turn sour by dinnertime is a curse Bills fans appreciate narrowly dodging.

Getting through challenges can be tough when every mistake feels like it prompts doom.  Instead, they took control of circumstances when life felt like it would never go right.  Is this still about football?

The Bills must focus on starting ‘strongly’ after the season began ‘weakly’.  The possibility of actively contributing to this being Eli Manning’s last game should motivate ruthlessness.  Be the chief factor in ending an era.  We promise to be grateful even if we’re not tortured first.

Editor’s babble: My cardiac status cannot handle another win like the Bills had against the Jets anytime soon. The Giants seem to give the Bills fits, no matter what their record is. Thanks to Anthony Bialy for making sense out of the insensible. You can find 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.