The best dodgeball players prioritize targets. Hunting down uncoordinated kids with lazy eye patches and inhalers is cruel. But welts are issued by the dominant. The Buffalo Bills must take advantage of the Gamers Club this year. In 2020, they might face varsity athletes who enjoy gym instead of bookish types flinching until they can get out of shorts and on to social studies.
Moaning about how they win means life’s going pretty well. The inability of the Bills to crush throughout is officially a theme. But wins never go 100 percent one way. Even the trounced French and Spanish recaptured some of the ships lost at Trafalgar.
A nine-point lead has never been more infuriating as it was at halftime. Buffalo should have been plundering the competition like Conan the Barbarian. By settling for field goals, it felt more like Conan O’Brien going from The Tonight Show to basic cable. Ruthlessness is as tough to maintain as the current address on Ryan Fitzpatrick’s driver’s license.
Sure, a delightfully unfair brawl felt like it should’ve been 324-0 after one quarter. But life lesson number one is that not everything is going to unfold perfectly. Why follow Buffalo sports if you’re not going to glean broader lessons?
Noting how many opportunities they missed during a three-score win is like like complaining that you have to look at your magic glowing pocket rectangle to activate it so you can access all the information humans have ever gathered. But grumpy ingratitude is part of humanity’s charm. We might be appreciative, at least deep down.
I hope everyone savored 10 games forgiving enough that the Bills could’ve ordered them. It will be while before they again get a schedule as soft as that My Pillow creep promises his product is. Ultimately stomping a gasping rival is a satisfying way to exceed last year’s win tally.
Counting on Miami fumbling only works twice per season. The Replacements weren’t as self-destructive as a team struggling more than the freaking Jets. The Dolphins are already the Aquaman of franchises by virtue of their mascot. The inability to summon anything more powerful than plankton merely confirms their status as the Justice League’s outcasts.
Thank the baffled Dolphins for continuing to run up the middle, as something predictable to stop offered Buffalo’s defense just the confidence boost they needed.
Preposterous risks aided the enemy on the ball’s other side, too. What’s the downside of a seven-man blitz, other than coverage as thin as prison chili? Miami’s bold plan of not covering John Brown in a zone reflects the limits of protecting territory. A troubled defense is bound to forget the most significant threat exists.
Both sides of the ball gleefully exploited fundamental ineptness. Ed Oliver’s first sack of an actual quarterback was like a Combine drill. He’s pretty good when allowed to proceed unabated. The play seemed like it should’ve featured a whistle because Miami didn’t know which defenders needed progress slowed. They may have not known there was supposed to be blocking at all. It never hurts to review the basics.
But it’s easy to make up yards on kicking plays if you wonder how games stay too close. The Bills won’t get away with Chernobyl-level special teams meltdowns against any team without plans to draft a quarterback early next year. Conceding a kickoff touchdown and onside kick might cause Steve Tasker to smash the locker room like Godzilla. If you think an average-sized radio host couldn’t obliterate the place, you never saw him play.
Blockbuster’s market share isn’t as weak as the AFC in 2019. I don’t feel like counting how many years when Miami was grateful the Bills made them look competent by comparison. Repaying the favor is how divisional homies help each other out.
A probationary season offers the chance to try different things even if they don’t take, like that psychedelic Rolling Stones album. We’d like to see more fine-tuning from a club five-eights of its way into the season. Teams not under suspicion of tanking will be less likely to sabotage themselves.
Still, beating junior varsity teams is going pretty well while practicing for 2020. This season is a Top Gun reboot where Tom Cruise takes on the Wright Brothers. Someday, they’ll have to face fighter jets.
The holiday week’s biggest challenge is playing games close enough to resemble a hockey schedule. A kickoff four days after their previous game ends is almost as bad as flying coach to your hometown to see people you almost forgot shared your gene pool.
The Bills seem like a surprising a 7-3 squad. Conversely, the Broncos are a dangerous 3-7 team. Buffalo’s next foe has shown flashes of proficiency without finishing, which means they’re going to be cranky. They’d be dangerous even if they’re only seen as Von Miller and a couple dozen other guys. Making bad records worse remains the best-case scenario.
Editor’s babble: Many thanks, as always, to Anthony Bialy for his mind-stimulating contributions to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.