Buffalo Bills Dry Off, Turn Around

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) takes off for a long touchdown run as Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (51) tries to catch him during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Does it ever rain in Oakland?  When it’s too slippery for them, it’s just enough traction for us.  That slightly paraphrased Marv Levy quote reflects how the Buffalo Bills are back to being ferocious at home.  Your own building better feel uncomfortable for visitors.

It’s crucial to never take greatness for granted even if it means restating praise.  Bills fans can’t express enough happiness about LeSean McCoy, who makes the spectacular commonplace.  Fellow superhuman and beloved adopted Buffalonian Dominik Hasek would approve.  Shady finds daylight on a gray day to remind you all weather conditions are a state of mind.

The Bills score a lot when the defense helps.  Despite all the computations, football often comes down to who protects the ball.  The turnover battle tends to favor the team that scores more.  That may make the sport seem depressing in its limitations.  But knowing the value of taking away possessions makes the mission clear.

Photo of LB Matt Milano from denverpost.com.

A football popping through the air makes me nervous.  But this has been a Bills team that refuses to cater to pessimism.  Matt Milano fielding Leonard Johnson’s pop fly seems like the sort of break that other teams get.  But other teams are being victimized by madcap action.

Enjoy bounces going Buffalo’s way while they happen.  Good teams make their own breaks.  Oakland’s opening touchdown was an aberration, like how the Rolling Stones only recorded that one psychedelic album.  They got back to pure rock in no time.

We’re having so much fun that we don’t notice who isn’t present. There’s little change without Marcell Dareus, who wasn’t around much even when present.  It had been hard to write encouraging words on a fan site about someone who played to his utmost only on whims.

Don’t let what turned out to be mistakes in hindsight cloud the view ahead.  Fans may feel bitter that the reward for a 4-12 season in 2010 turned into a sixth-round pick.  But ruing what happened ruins the future along with the past.  A lack of demotivation offers relief in itself.

Five wins in seven games makes it easy to get over missing who left.  Sammy Watkins running a route out of town seemed like it would define this season.  But his absence hasn’t been used as an excuse.

Photo of Raiders LB Kahlil Mack from raiders.com.

Thank those blockers for neutralizing Khalil Mack so we didn’t have to think about how the Bills could’ve drafted him instead.  Remaking the squad without writing off the transitional season has been quite the feat.

A new teammate helps.  They’ve already gotten to an impressive win percentage without Kelvin Benjamin.  The Bills are deadline buyers if you thought dreams never came true.  The latest former Panther is instantly his new side’s top receiver by yardage.  Now, he can gain ground for Buffalo.  I just hope his flight is on time so he can take on the Jets.

Good teams don’t bask in wins, as the relentless look for the next triumph.  There’s little chance for nostalgia this week.  Treat Sunday like the distant past with Buffalo’s personal Thanksgiving being tomorrow night.

This particular holiday is an excuse to order from the pizza parlor of your choice if you don’t feel like baking a turkey.  Two games over five-plus days creates a quick impression on the season.  The Bills have already made half a good one.

Thursday night games aren’t just bad in general.  The Bills are 2-4 in them since the NFL wedged them into our lives, which is a small sample that’s nonetheless reflected the general state of affairs.

Facing the Jets on the day in question is a new sort-of tradition.  This will be Buffalo’s fourth Thursday night game against New Jersey’s junior NFL franchise.  Buffalo is 1-2 so far, which also shows how the league has stuck AFC East also-rans into the slot.  It’s up to the participants to change that.

This franchise has already advanced.  They fell to the Jets on a particularly dull 2009 Thursday game played in Toronto, so they’ve escaped the indignity of giving away home games.  It’s nice to recall how bad circumstances were just last decade.  Fans are left to only complain about a strange weeknight affair instead of potential relocation.

Photo of Rex and Rob Ryan from nydailynews.com.

Compare to last year’s defenseless result to be even more optimistic.  The 2016 Thursday loss to the Jets exposed Rex Ryan as a mere talker, a role he continues to perform today.  His convoluted alignments were like Rube Goldberg machines except how the latter actually work.

A simpler defense makes it easier to play the game.  I think that’s the whole point.  The present edition already knows where they’re supposed to head.  It’s in the positions’ names.  Buffalo has found success with defensive linemen, linebackers, and cornerbacks largely staying where their names suggest.  They’ve also been in luck when needing safety.

Sunday was nothing more than a good start to the week for a playoff team.  Is this one?  Avoiding a weekday letdown would help their case both as a matter of persuasion and mathematics.  Use the shoehorned game as a chance to advance more quickly.

Buffalo’s bout with consistency has been a sweet change of pace.  They can’t stop blocking and stealing like that now.  There’s virtually no time to game plan in the few hours of a shortened week.  Just do the same thing.

Editor’s babble: We’re always grateful to Anthony Bialy for his contributions to our blog. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

2 Replies to “Buffalo Bills Dry Off, Turn Around”

  1. Hopefully they can leverage the game plan from the first game and adjust enough to win this game. I am not assuming they have this game won, too many of their games are too close, and the Jets are not tanking the season.

  2. Good morning…

    This will be a tough division game as records mean nothing. The Jets are playing good football jump out to a lead but can’t hang on at the end. They commit costly turnovers and run out of steam. The Jets will have a hard time controlling the Bills running attack and the Bills will have an additional emotional lift tonight with Kelvin in uniform.