There may be less time for Buffalo Bills coaches to scheme before a game that’s already almost here. So, there are benefits to second weeknight football. This week’s already been pleasant. Even the most optimistic backers would’ve struggled to envision this squad moving past the regular season if they had fallen to 3-5 by succumbing to a secondary divisional foe. Of course, you could say the same about the next game, so let’s get right to it. This team put themselves in a tough position, but at least they’ve responded properly. Now, the shortest of weeks means they don’t have time to get cocky. Instead of extensive celebration, they only have time to implement a few tweaks. Based on the pain they dispensed to Miami, that may be all they need.
The key to success is putting in healthy good players. Well, that’s simple. Feeling better is all it takes, even if telling your players to stop being injured is as useful as instructing them to score more. Take getting back a passer who makes all the difference. Great American Tyrod Taylor doesn’t need special instruction, as we respect how good he is at multiple dimensions even more now that we’ve seen this team suffer without him. He undoubtedly regrets his incompletion, singular.
Meanwhile, magician LeSean McCoy went to the University of Pittsburgh, which is apparently the American Hogwarts. Even without graduating, he learned all the good rushing spells. It really seems like they can put him out there and expect him to run out an L on the field with a very long vertical line. Without taking him for granted, the Bills can count on Shady to potentially do something special with every handoff while he’s well.
There are no worries when the evasive McCoy darts to the sideline. The Bills can just turn to straightforward power thanks to Karlos Williams, the roster’s Reliant K-Car. The rookie is as dominant running upright as first-year Bill McCoy is while scuttling away from pursuers. As with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, they work well together precisely because they’re different. As for Sammy Watkins, he provided an injury update: he’s fine.
Do your part hate the Dolphins, and not just because they’re named the Dolphins. Fans of both teams should want to return this rivalry to its nasty intensity. The one thing Buffalo’s fanbase can’t show their disparate rivals is what empty seats look like. Orchard Park’s typical Sunday rabidness could only seem more pronounced compared to South Florida’s exhibition vibe. The odometer-flipping meeting provided a chance to remember we’ve been contemptuous of them every time. On this particular occasion, it would’ve been hard to think the Bills were a playoff team if they couldn’t stop Ryan Tannehill. This wasn’t so much proof of postseason worthiness as it was avoiding a chance to be eliminated in all but fact. The joy of thrashing the beach bums was a bonus.
The waiting will soon be over. We’re in the midst of the curious moment when an entire season could be decided in two games with a little over four days off between them. A schedule that’s taken them from London to East Rutherford may as well be embraced for its absurdity. For now, they can attempt to be the most dominant of the AFC East’s also-rans. To the rest of the league, that’s like trying to name the other three members of the Doors. But there could be a reward for the most prominent obscure team.
The weeknight warriors could see if playing cleanly would make winning even easier. Bracing for yellow is inhibiting enjoyment of every good play. But at least Jerry Hughes was apparently motivated by the angry energy of fans fed up with late hits. I can’t think of another reason why he finally started costing the other team yards. Perhaps it was because defensive coaches finally spread out pass rushers and actually let them, you know, rush the passer. It’s one thing to throw off the opposing offense. But dropping innate quarterback hunters into coverage too often is like watching Robert De Niro in another comedy: while novel, you want him bashing fellow gangsters as if they were enemy quarterbacks.
The football void will go unfilled Sunday, so there’s no option but to appreciate the saturation. Rushing to a Thursday night contest hasn’t often resulted in great games. The ever-conscientious NFL realized that a hasty pre-weekend game can make them even richer, as viewers have decided that bad football is still football. The Bills may as well make use of the weekly Thanksgiving and treat the present interval like a long halftime. Their instinctual approach already ruined one enemy’s week, and the only thing better would be to replicate the feat in the same span. If nothing else, the short break means less time for stories about Rex Ryan returning to his last job site. Appreciate small blessings.