It’s all fun and games until the shooting starts.
The shooting starts now.
Bills fans have had eight months of anticipation and excitement. Free agency went well. The draft looked good. The Bills looked good in training camp. They went 4-0 in preseason games. Add it all up and what do you have? 0-0 and a lot of questions.
Do you want the dream scenario? Here it is: the offensive line is stout, Gore and Singletary combine for 2000 yards, the defense lives up to expectations. And Josh Allen is a top-10 passer.
In other years it was a dream, but this season it’s more than that – it’s an actual possibility. Over the past month, the Bills have looked like a team without glaring weaknesses, a team that is, in a word, capable. They block, they tackle, they complete passes, they finish drives.
Up until now, all the things we hoped for about Josh Allen have happened. He got first-team reps through OTAs, training camp and preseason. He focused on the shorter, high percentage passes. He connected regularly with Cole Beasley. He found John Brown (when Brown was on the field) on those long, mid-range crossing routes that take advantage of Brown’s speed and Allen’s ability to make that throw. Allen looks poised and comfortable.
The Bills’ other 2018 wunderkind, Tremaine Edmunds, also appears to have taken a big step forward. He’s step for step with receivers, just like last year, but he’s also attacking the run game with quickness, energy and solid reads. He could be one of the big stories in 2019.
It all looks promising.
Still, the Bills are 0-0, just like every other team. And just like every other season, the competition will be fierce. The Jets want game one just as badly as the Bills do, and they have their own star quarterback. The Giants won’t lay down, the Bengals are unknown (but we’ll give Dalton one ovation) and then the Patriots come to town.
Nothing will be easy, nothing will be given to the Bills. They’ve fought and clawed every day to make the team and to come together, and now that process continues, every day, every week. Get better or get beat.
There are no second chances. The Bills must do everything possible to win game one, because once the final whistle blows, that game will forever be a win or a loss. And they have to do it again, and again. The season is brutally difficult that way, with disappointments and injuries along the way.
Welcome to the season we’ve been waiting for.
The Rockpile Review is written to share the passion we have for the Buffalo Bills. That passion was born in the Rockpile; its parents were everyday people of western New York who translated their dedication to a full day’s hard work and simple pleasures into love for a pro football team.
Editor’s babble: So happy to have Mark Korber back to share his insight about the Buffalo Bills. You can’t find Mark on Twitter but you can find him posting at twobillsdrive.com’s “Stadium Wall”. Go Bills!