Well, well, well… look who’s still sitting on top of the AFC East after the first quarter of the NFL regular season. Most of BillsMafia probably woke up Monday morning with a strange feeling of living in an alternate universe. A place where the Buffalo Bills have a one game lead over the New England Patriots after four games into the regular season.
The Bills 23-17 win over the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday was as much of a signature statement as you will see in the NFL. Although the final score indicated a close game, Buffalo dominated in a way they haven’t been able to for many years; they went into a hostile environment and beat one of the most talented teams in the NFL.
The only thing left behind in this autopsy report is the carcass of the collective Falcons who were left for dead on a scorched field in their new stadium on Sunday.
Here are a few reasons why it’s time for Bills fans to come out of the dark and into the light after being tormented into submission for nearly two decades:
- This Bills team continues to prove every week they emphatically reject the mantra of “same old Bills” with their actions, not their words.
- Reaction by current players to comments made by Jim Kelly about the national anthem protest recently indicate this team is motivated to break away from the past and view the past as a hindrance to their future.
- LeSean McCoy’s reaction toward reporters in the locker room after the game reveals a team with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove… to everyone.
- Nothing about this team resembles the quitters we saw on the field for way too many years.
- McDermott and Beane continue to show great acumen in selecting players who not only fit their scheme, but their vision of the psychological make-up they seek in players.
- For the first time since the Marv Levy era there is a focus on intangibles over physical talent as a priority in assembling a team.
- Instead of wallowing in self-congratulatory behavior, this team remains as even-keeled emotionally after a huge win as any Bills team we’ve seen since the Super Bowl years.
And that’s just for starters. As many folks reading this know, the focus on intangibles is something I begged for years to see from a Bills coach and front office. In an era where players make life-altering amounts of money, honing a winner requires the ability to find those players who are motivated by the game itself, not chiefly for what it provides in terms of a celebrity lifestyle.
Finally, a head coach and front office that places as much value on developing team chemistry as I believe is necessary to be successful in this era of professional football. I’ll let the stats guys pour over the analytics of the game while I focus on my own area of expertise… analyzing human behavior.
And oh my… get ready… I’ll have a lot more to post about team chemistry as we move forward. In the mean time, put away your “same old Bills” mantra. It’s time to walk outside our man/woman caves and let the sun shine in.
Editor’s babble: Be insufferable this week, BillsMafia. We’ve agonized long enough. If you can stand the nauseating optimism, you can follow me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.