Hating Rivals Only One Reason to Stick with Buffalo Bills

Photo from NewYorkUpstate.com.

The Sun may be blotted out by the eternally imposing next foe.  But the Buffalo Bills feel warm for now.  Present grayness can’t make me shiver.

Keeping mathematically alive is a tradition like sneaking cookies from platters you’re bringing to neighbors.  I’m almost sorry.  Any fans ready to go fully negative remain disappointed.  Habits are tough to break.  This franchise still might quit smoking.

It’s tough for one player to keep optimism alive in the ultimate team sport.  That’s why it’s always important to have LeSean McCoy on your roster if possible.  Those who write about the Bills are glad to set aside space every week to praise him.  Five digits’ worth of rushing gains means he’s had a great body of work along with another sweet Sunday.

And he’s still racing.  Instead of being near the Coda, Shady is still leaving Physical Graffiti. Getting to 10,000 freaking rushing yards wasn’t about reaching a milestone on his trajectory’s downside: the sprightly McCoy is the primary reason his team will win at least half its games.  Ruining a tank is worth it.

Photo of LeSean McCoy from si.com.

Flipping the odometer came on a day when the stat sheet notes he didn’t add much distance.  McCoy’s broadest accomplishment came while gaining only 2.5 yards per rush. He actually did more for Tyrod Taylor as a catcher.  Feel free to keep using him as a receiver.  This season hasn’t been strange enough.

The result was probably pleasant when there are other skill players worth highlighting.  I’m glad Travaris Cadet’s journey around the league took him to Buffalo so he could take some quality backup handoffs.  And Charles Clay is there when wide receivers aren’t.  Using the tight end feels almost modern.

Playoff hopefuls better exploit foes who don’t care.  Jordan Poyer proved Jay Cutler can hit an open man. Mafia members were concerned because the embodiment of slacker quarterbacks has intermittently looked like a professional this year.  Playing as well as he did against New England the previous week makes his typical nonchalance that much more inexcusable.  The Bills exploited his return to apathy.

Our neighbors seem to be having a blast.  Players are transports here for work.  Most of them didn’t get to choose where they’d go for their career.  This isn’t an industry like banking or architecture where employees start as free agents.

Those experiencing their first Erie County winter should know that sighing whenever they peer through a window in December is normal.  Even worse, there’s coffee and blankets inside.  Why ever be apart from them?

But we go out and face the arctic assault.  Part of that is because most jobs and Ted’s Hot Dogs locations are situated outside our homes.  Even more, dealing with a foreboding temperature offers a chance to establish heartiness.  A tough life creates tough people.

Location is everything.  Anyone can run a pass route in, say, Southern Florida.  Moving properly while your skin hates the air is for true professionals.  Players may even find that the roaring 20s are fun, at least in a demented way.  Coping with freezing is easier upon losing one’s mind.

Dec 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs with the football defended by Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (52) during the first half at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Football can be gratifying even if you can see the field.  The comparatively tropical affair nonetheless involved watching for icicles.  As one of those Grinches who thinks of a white Christmas as a marketing gimmick that makes driving to Grandma’s dangerous, even I can concede it’s entertaining for frolicking.

Adept shovelers can catch up with precipitation.  The dedicated appreciate cold that’d be laughable if their jaws weren’t frozen.  Savor temperatures that keep ground beef fresh.  It’s best to do so in limited doses.  Use those outdoor minutes in a football stadium to maximize enjoyment.

I checked again, and there won’t be a losing record.  That fact only partly encapsulates a bizarre season.  The Bills have gone from consistent proficiency to falling in massive blowouts, and that’s just been in consecutive weeks.  If you’re still not sure how good this team really is, know it’s only been 14 games.

We get to hate the Dolphins again soon just in case overcoming their unpleasant effort wasn’t amusing enough.  It’s a gift to once more mock their aforementioned slacker quarterback, cheap shot specialists Jarvis Landry and Ndamukong Suh, and resentful decliner Kiko Alonso.  If we feel indifferent about Miami, there’s something going wrong.

Photo from NewYorkUpstate.com.

But there’s a boss level to face first.  The Bills must cope with a different despised rival in the spirit of Christmas.  Dealing with the division’s creep, bully, and creep again is the best way to end a season as long as this roster grasps the consequences.  How have games gone in New England?  I’m presently too merry to check.

This rather unpredictable squad would help their own chances with a win nobody will predict.  Matt Milano better be ready to make 20 tackles to even keep the score close.  We’re all tired of writing off this game, as has been the habit since televisions had tubes.  We can only hope they’ve learned how to have a passing attack in the last three weeks.  It’d only be a decade or so late.  Santa says it’s never too late to be good.

Editor’s babble: A big dose of gratitude and thanks to Anthony Bialy for helping us laugh throughout a tumultuous season. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy. 

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy lives in New York City and acts like he's still in Buffalo. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He knows every bodega in Manhattan which sells Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

7 Replies to “Hating Rivals Only One Reason to Stick with Buffalo Bills”

  1. The Bills will probably tease us with a good first half, only to let Belichick halftime adjustments wreck them in the second half.

  2. While I’d love to see the Bills beat the Patriots at Foxboro in a meaningful game and one in which the Patriots starters play the entire game, the odds of that happening are not good. Since 2001, the Bills have fared better in the first divisional matchup against the Patriots than in the second game.

    Here are the scores from the first divisional games against the Patriots since 2001: 11-21; 7-38; 31-0 (Bills win); 17-31; 16-21; 17-19; 7-38; 10-20; 24-25; 30-38; 34-31 (W); 28-52; 21-23; 22-37; 32-40; 16-0 (W). In that time span, the Patriots scored 434 points compared to 323 for the Bills, leaving a 111 point difference. 

    Here are the scores from the second divisional games against the Patriots since 2001: 9-12; 17-27; 0-31; 6-29; 7-35; 6-28; 10-56; 0-13; 10-17; 3-34; 21-49; 31-37; 20-34; 17-9 (W); 13-20; 25-41. In that time span, the Patriots scored 472 points (38 more than the first divisional games) compared to 195 for the Bills (128 points less), leaving a 277 point difference (166 greater than the first divisional games). Part of the problem in the past when it came to the second divisional game vs the Patriots, the Bills coaches/players did not alter their offensive and defensive signals which made it easier for the Patriots to pick up. I hope McDermott and his coaches are smart enough to change things up for this game. 

    I hope history does not repeat itself and the Bills get the win on Sunday, but past history has shown the second game against the Patriots have been worse for the Bills. 

  3. Good morning..

    Thanks Anthony for another entertaining article.

    Steve it is like groundhog day with the way the Pats pummel the Bills every year. One of these days there will be a miracle at Foxboro.. I remember feeling the same way in the 70’s when the Phins won 20 straight against the Bills…

    Is there trouble brewing in New England as Belechick bans Brady’s private trainer!!

    http://thebiglead.com/2017/12/19/bill-belichick-bans-tom-brady-trainer-alex-guerrero-from-team-plane-sidelines/

    .

  4. Goose,

    I know, it is tiresome seeing the Patriots beat the Bills repeatedly year after year.

    Back to my point on some of the seasons why the Patriots do better in the second divisional matchup is Belichek’s attention to detail with film study and team’s movements, formations and tendencies. Belichek is a master of breaking down film, looks for any little tendency and trains his coaches/assistants to do the same. Here’s a good video on that, Phil Savage (former Browns GM) talks about Belichek taking 20 minutes to breakdown everything in just one play (start at 15:49): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFGd_GW5wdw

    I’m hoping McDermott and his staff will change up plays, formations, signals, etc… for this game and everytime they the Patriots in the 2nd (and hopefully 3rd) matchups of the year. If he does that and the Bills have better results, then he truly is a good coach. So far, McDermott failed this test when the Bills faced the Jets this year as the Bills looked terrible against the Jets in their second matchup.

  5. Patriots coming off a big emotional win vs. the Steelers may have some letdown-itus. I keep coming back to the Giants super bowl victory over the Pats- 17 to 14. Can you imagine holding the Patriots to 14 points! There is the recipe, Bills simply don’t have the horses yet.

    My wife watches reruns of the show “Everyone loves Ray”. Not my favorite by a long shot but the other night they had an episode where Ray was in the doghouse because he recorded over his wedding video.
    So he re-did his vows to make up for it but at the end of the ceremony someone asked he record on the tape? Turns out it was the Bills – Giants superbowl! And of course the had to play the final play on the show- just as Norwood was making the kick the tape switched over to his original wedding ceremony without revealing if the kick was good or not. Funny but painful at the same time.

  6. other than a Bills win this Sunday, all I want for Christmas is a Rich Stadium snow globe…..