Nobody asks which two teams the Buffalo Bills have beaten. Well, I suppose they might, so I should stop fibbing. But the question still fails to influence statistics.
There’s no qualifying wins by noting how many flames were emanating from the train wrecks on the other sideline. The record is, well, on the record. The NFL’s New Jersey Champions don’t get to return to Sopranoland this year no matter how fun the results there were.
Things have gotten better, or at least the same. Last year’s Bills only won two road games, so this version will at at worst match the franchise’s own poor baseline. And only one of those came against the Jets in the home of the Jersey Devil and Bon Jovi.
What seemed formidable actually became manageable. Facing two teams that are moments away from playoff elimination allowed the Bills to ease into greater challenges. They can only cope with the issued burden, as someone else makes the schedule. I don’t know the person’s name, but the job sounds fun in case anyone hears about a retirement.
A pair of away contests to kick off the season should’ve been more daunting. Instead, the Bills took advantage of teams whose primary function is keeping New York City tabloids from having to go positive.
Dysfunction that’s easy to mock only benefits snarky journalists. Life is not going well when headline writers use their jobs as a chance to vent at local clubs. New York-adjacent pro football franchises are thankful the Knicks make them look competent by comparison.
The schedule quirk hopefully isn’t the most memorable part of 2019. But I still wonder if the NFL presumed one of the teams has a stadium in Queens.
The Giants and Jets play a total of three consecutive games in East Rutherford combined between them this season, which makes Buffalo enduring the same circumstances even more bizarre. If you think the slate is baffling, wait until you see this league try to define pass interference.
Swamp Thing got another season. Buffalo got their second bad start over sooner. The defense could’ve panicked after neglecting to stop all-universe backfield threat Saquon Barkley on the first drive. But they shrewdly responded by putting about 18 guys in the box to halt his stampeding, which might be why the Giants only let him carry 18 times.
It’s a relief to escape the marshes. The existence of other venues might be more than a rumor. I saw AC/DC at MetLife Stadium, and they sold event-specific shirts featuring a play on their song title Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be with New Jersey replaced as the location. I doubt the Garden State even realized it was being insulted.
Now, that Empire State team finally gets to play in New York. Oh, right: Buffalo gets home games. Those might be fun to attend. Do they sell tickets?
Eight home affairs during the final 14 is the reward for something whose first instance has been delayed too long. Even better, the Bills have been eased into the away slate. It’s nothing against the Jets and Giants except for how neither is very good.
Since football is not the first Ramones album, it is unable to reach perfection. At best, winning teams strive to overcome their weaker moments in lieu of being defined by them.
A team can be undefeated a whole eighth of the way into the season even with mid-game lulls. This year’s Bills haven’t played a full outing. But utter dominance from the kickoff to handshake rarely happens in football. You’re more likely to find a new Dolphins fan.
Buffalo’s technically professional foes offered just enough resistance to present a challenge. Joyously exploiting their respective meltdowns is a fun change of pace. The two regular-season preseason games offered a chance for the Bills to calibrate their missiles.
Cincinnati might be going nowhere, but it’s up to the Bills to send them off. Sunday would be a convenient time to permanently exhibit all the effective midrange passing and zone patrolling they’ve shown for long glimpses.
Showing no mercy upon the wounded is the overarching theme of successful teams’ actions. The Bengals are just asking to be banished to the role of spoilers. I’d be happy to send the Andy Dalton Foundation money again.
The Bills better not be presuming they’re going to be 3-0. Cockiness can turn inconsistency into a habit. They’ve already cut down on turnovers and sloppiness with only one chance to show what that’ve learned.
Be ready for anything, including bad decisions. Not every club is going to save their best player from wear and tear like the Giants did with Barkley. Holding off on using him fully until the Bills pushed Eli Manning to the bench may have been overthinking it.
Dealing with what others do is a roster’s job, even if the initial move makes no sense. Get those chess pieces out of your mouth, as I already told you they’re not licorice.
Editor’s babble: Well here we are with our Bills at 2-0. What’s better than sharing some giggles w/Anthony Bialy? Not much. Grateful for all the joy Anthony brings to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.