Even the best football researchers are unsure how it’s possible get rustier after the opener. The Buffalo Bills took a team vote, and the offense decided to tank. The other option is they were trying to score, and that seems implausible. How did they spend the week? Practice would’ve been a better option. It’s not mean if you sat through the latest challenge to your devotion.
If time can go backward, the clock is meaningless. Carolina ended up with about 73 minutes of possession despite not moving the ball much. The NFL just loves games without touchdowns, as they’re more fun than replay delays and arguing about what a catch is combined. The Bills do their part to make football devotees appreciate good games for their relative rarity.
Games this infuriating never get easier. We have ample proof. The Queen City brawl goes to Charlotte by default. Cincinnati gets the bronze because they’ve somehow scored fewer touchdowns than Buffalo. There are plenty of teams coping with stagnation if it makes you feel better.
Sigh: they’re back to normal. The only upside of consistent setbacks is having dealt with frustration before. The closest precedent that comes to mind was in 2005 when the Bills beat a lousy team in the opener followed by only managing a field goal in the next. There’s just a different regrettable quarterback debate now. At least we got to enjoy long pass attempts 12 years ago.
Carolina better not be boasting when they mention the Field Goal Bowl. They somehow almost frittered away the most underwhelming win in recent memory. This was a Bills loss where the foe just happened to be there. It was like Seattle and Atlanta blowing Super Bowls as opposed to New England winning them, only with the precisely opposite stakes.
In-game decisions brought to mind Blockbuster Video passing on buying Netflix. The Bills should know they don’t bank unused timeouts. Basic clock management could’ve made a game where they had no business being competitive miraculously end in their favor. Instead, they added one last bit of heartbreak by waiting as long as possible to stop the clock on Carolina’s last possession. Leaving yourself less time means more efficiency, I guess. Rex Ryan could teach Sean McDermott how to use timeouts.
Play defense for the Bills if you want a guaranteed weight loss plan, as you’ll never stop running. They’ll try to gain it back at the pizza party the offense better host for everyone else. Buy the whole Rock-afire Explosion to make the apology complete. It’s hard to tackle while on the field for what was unnervingly close to the whole game, which makes not conceding a touchdown quite the feat. Carolina can’t say the same.
At least we have an example of how defense is undervalued. They can only control the game so much by reacting to snaps. Lorenzo Alexander and Jerry Hughes are as mean a pairing as Run-DMC and adidas. Everyone already cheered for Eddie Yarbrough, and a relentless sack makes it easy. As for free agent steals, Jordan Poyer is the latest guy who embodies the best aspirations of a struggling team.
Like when his turkey sandwich was a little dry, Homer Simpson learned the hard way how wishes can backfire. A fast-paced offense is counterproductive if it leads to a punt in a minute. It’s hard to get touchdowns when first downs are rare.
Many NFL teams like to use wide receivers. In fact, they emphasize them. Noting the present affinity for deep passing may seem like a trite observation, but Buffalo should get onboard by the third game.
While Carolina’s defense may be good, it’s tough to be sure when they only had to defend one aspect. And the most notorious pass attempt failed, anyway. It’s tough to fault a rookie wideout for not making what would’ve been a catch and a half. But there’s no more of a ‘Billsy’ play than hands on a ball that ends up incomplete.
Talk radio callers wanting to see how a rookie can pass means the offense is doing well, right? Tyrod Taylor needs to display more of the quiet confidence he exhibits off the field.
For now, the league remains unsurprised. Typical predictions look like they’re closer to true, presuming anyone outside our fanbase remembered to care about the Bills. Those of us left behind are back to worrying LeSean McCoy’s career will be wasted. Even superstars can’t defy space and time when there are about 10 defenders in the box.
The next foe cruelly won’t let up after a letdown. Denver’s one of those teams that seems like it’s always strong even when it’s only okay. And we don’t know if any of their players got superpowers after being struck by lightning last Sunday. With apprehension back in season, the whole part about rewarding fans’ faith seems to have been paused again.
Editors babble: As always, many thanks to Anthony Bialy for his contributions to our blog. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.