Are we finally seeing the end of the Patriots two decades of domination in the AFCE? If their game against the Dolphins last Sunday is any indication, the answer is probably yes. As we ring in 2020, it looks like the Bills are in the best position to put an end to the Patriots domination once and for all.
But before that happens, there’s some business to take care of in Houston. And maybe some other cities down the road. The Bills made the playoffs on their own merit and earned the right to compete for the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in three years, after eight head coaches since Wade Phillips couldn’t get the job done.
Furthermore, after two decades of abject misery, how is BillsMafia supposed to cope with all these signs of optimism? “Act like you’ve been there before”? That doesn’t apply to the youngest generation of Bills fans because they haven’t been there before.
All this success makes me wonder why I’m enjoying the Bills’ success barely more than watching Tom Brady’s arm die on national TV. The internal struggle trying to control my joy watching Brady throw a pick-six is real. Surely I’m better than stooping that low, right?
Wrong. So I let myself enjoy the pleasures of watching an old football enemy shrivel up and die like the old witch on the Wizard of Oz and move on with a smile. THAT’S what BillsMafia does, right?
But how do we deal with this thing called success? There’s a playoff game coming up and it will not only provide invaluable experience for a young quarterback, it is setting the foundation for the future of the franchise.
So the Bills find themselves facing the Texans at their house on Saturday. My confidence level for the Bills going into this game is all over the place. Not quite sure this team is ready on offense to make a deep run in the playoffs just yet.
However, if ever there were a time for the Bills’ offense to find it’s rhythm, now would be a good time. If the offense can find a way to score points with abandon, they could run as deep as they want in the playoffs because the defense is talented and very deep.
But after a couple of decades of every possible permutation of misery heaped upon us, we now face the real deal… reasons for a bright and shining future for the Bills. What is this strange feeling we call optimism?
How are we to cope with these feelings after they’ve been suppressed for two decades? It’s a strange phenomenon to crawl out of a black hole into the sunshine after a 20 year hibernation.
Probably more than a few old farts like me are having flashes that the end of the world must be coming soon… or at least our participation in it might be coming to an end.
Surely the end times must be at hand if the Bills are really good and could actually compete for a championship again at some point in the near future. Better check and make sure all your final wishes are written down and in order just in case.
My chosen path is to ride this playoff run for all its worth… for as short or as long as it might be. One and done is still better than my expectations going into the season. The Bills are actually a year ahead of my mental schedule for their development.
I didn’t expect Josh Allen to even start playing until this year. The Nathan Peterman experiment still leaves me baffled how someone can be proficient until they take the field and completely unravel. I’ll be contemplating that Nathan Peterman experiment for a very long time.
So… if the Bills are ahead of schedule as they seem to be from this perspective, then anything they do in the playoffs this season is a bonus. There’s no price tag on what playoff experience will do to bring Josh Allen’s development along.
Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield were expected to get this experience, not Josh Allen. You can only imagine how that little tidbit makes me smile. And Josh Rosen? Maybe Belichick can rehabilitate him after Brady limps off the field for the last time at Gillette Stadium (she writes with a big grinch grin).
Who knows what the Bills have in store for us on Saturday. I just know that it feels like a bonus week to be in the tournament. Win or lose this playoff game provides vital experience for a young team on the rise.
Also, iteels a lot like 1988 for those of you too young to remember.
Editor’s babble: Happy New Decade. If you think I’m full of horse poop, you can call me out on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.