Little Lessons Offer Slight Comfort Late for Buffalo Bills

Photo of QB Josh Allen from NewYorkUpstate.com.

Detroit really wanted to draft first.  Can you imagine having worse special teams than the Buffalo Bills?  All it takes is a couple of lame kick attempts.  The player selection order was the last thing on the mind of a flawed roster that persevered despite its depleted status.  A struggling outfit improving within games and seasons will have to suffice.  Now, don’t forget to retain this information next year so we’re not spending another December seeking moral victories.

Ed Rutkowski is the next running back.  The disaster scenario occurs as the offense loses ball carriers like Spın̈al Tap replaces drummers.  The only thing worse than trying to dash forward without LeSean McCoy or Chris Ivory is Marcus Murphy falling to injury during the game, so naturally that happened.  Thankfully, a team prone to worst-case scenarios had top running back Josh Allen in the lineup.  He has a pump fake in his repertoire that other rushers can’t pull off.

It’s particularly tough losing tailbacks when a roster already don’t have enough blockers or catchers.  Plucky colleagues struggle valiantly without proper reinforcement in a rather unwelcome regular theme.  The Bills are playing with one bishop and maybe three pawns, which still doesn’t excuse curious chess moves.  Still, you try strategizing when your assets have been replaced with Starburst pieces that get consumed upon capture.  The staff attentively monitors how the king performs, especially since this enchanted royal can move more than one space at a time.

I’m ruefully wishing it had been possible to make bad decisions without lasting consequences.  How are you celebrating a win?  The Bills are not precisely fretting about a lost playoff bye, so they can at least try wacky things.  Allen’s experimenting like this is his first college keg party.  He’s pushing his tolerance so he can pass out on the chancellor’s lawn now instead of during midterms.

Photo of QB Josh Allen from WKBW.com.

If an unvarnished rookie’s going to learn under game stress, it may as well be during a lost year.  You don’t have to thank management for a talent dearth that lets prized rookies prove they can cope with stress.

Only a droid quarterback enters the league programmed to not make bad choices, and there’s always the possibility he might start offing everyone.  The human rookie just has to remember to stop attempting to force the impossible. Every start seems to feature either an interception or a cornerback’s drop resulting from a pass he should throw away.  That’s not what we mean by wanting to have options.  Take how Allen targeted Zay Jones in the third quarter when the latter was slathered in double coverage.  Thankfully, he overthrew.

But imperfection can coexist with progress.  It’s nice to enjoy a present moment when we’ve been looking forward to September for awhile.  I got so used to self-denial that I forgot fun doesn’t necessarily need to be postponed.  Why yes, I’d love more Christmas cutout cookies.

Curse these stupid clocks crawling without concern for how much I want it to be next year.  I do own a time machine, but it only goes forward at the rate of one day per day.  So, I’ll have to plod along at the same pace as everyone else.  It’s not like expectations were high, so impressive individual performances will suffice.  Thinking the Bills were going to contend this year is like paying full price at Kohl’s.

Photo of QB Josh Allen from theintelligencer.com.

Those resigned to a painful 2018 have been pleasantly surprised by quarterback development.  The Bills are undoubtedly glad to see their rookie manage to reach a half-decent rating of 89.3 during an outing where he made necessary plays.  Completing only half his passes but making many of those look spectacular is a sneak preview of how he’ll be playing in 2023.

Revelers are still recovering from Super Buffalo Sunday, so it’s okay if your workweek just began today.  Without advanced knowledge, we wondered around noon if we’d end the day doubly excited, twice as crabby, or ambivalent.  I am as shocked as anyone how the best scenario won out.  The Bills provided more than a countdown to Sabres face-off.  Each had pleasant wins for different reasons, as only one helped itself in a playoff race.  If nothing else, the relatively struggling football operation’s employees are establishing muscle memory.

Besting the Bruins was ideally a warmup for Christmas Eve Eve against the even more diabolical regional franchise.  The dream of leapfrogging over New England in playoff scenarios is postponed right on schedule.  For now, condition the rookies to know who they’re supposed to loathe.  It’s not their fault they’re obligated to reverse fortune. But an inherited burden comes with starting new careers.  Hamlet was fated to join the Bills Mafia.

Playing the Patriots without anything at stake feels like an annual woeful tradition.  How many seasons have featured a game that’s not a true rivalry?  Spare a thought for the division’s bully.  At best, the Bills can make the goons fret about an outside shot of missing the postseason.  I can’t even imagine life being that cruel.  If Buffalo’s youngsters are already sick of respective statuses, they better keep building on learning.  Don’t throw out your notes from this semester.

Editor’s babble: I still have all my notes from the late 70s but it hasn’t helped a bit :( Thanks, as always… to Anthony Bialy for his twisted contributions to our blog. We need his unconventional sense of humor to keep us from dying of boredom waiting for the Bills to be great. Perhaps our time is coming sooner than later. You can find 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.