Well this just can’t be. Not only did the Bills improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2003, they did so by coming from behind, ON THE ROAD, against a playoff team… IN THEIR OWN CONFERENCE? Well BILL-eve it, this season looks like it could be, at the very least, interesting. This young team is looking much more poised than I thought they would be. Again, I attribute that to good coaching. In two games, I think the Bills have been penalized 5 or 6 times. That alone will keep you in games and it certainly did this past week. Sure, Pauly Poz rotated Maurice Jones-Drew’s head, but I think that benefits Jones-Drew as it’s much cheaper than acupuncture. Now we enter territory we haven’t seen in quite some time…being the favorite. I would guess that the Bills will be favored the next three weeks. Home against the Raiders, @ St. Louis, and @ Arizona. The first two they most definitely will be the favorite. At Arizona will be a tough game. But, like the players, you have to take it one week at a time. Let’s be honest, 4-1 going into the bye week would be fantastic.
Trent Edwards completed 80% of his passes against a very good defense. He brought the team back in the fourth quarter when the Bill’s momentum was laying some where between Terrance McGee’s INT, and the onside-kick recovery made by the Jags. The throw to Evans on third down was the king of thing poets write about and politicians reflect upon during major speeches. The throw to Hardy was the first time I think I have ever seen a Bills QB throw a good fade pass in the back of the endzone. Edwards has shown the poise and leadership ability to win games late, and that, in the words of Master Card, is priceless. God bless you Bill Walsh.
Fred Jackson put a sock in the mouth of all the analysts in the preseason who said the Bills were in trouble because they had no one behind Marshawn Lynch. They even ridiculed Bills fans who defended Fred Jackson by saying, “after Marshawn Lynch it’s Fred Jackson…who?” Well, it seems we have found our new Kenneth Davis who continues to show he’s a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. Lynch once again showed he has a nose for the endzone. Inside the ten, he seems very good at crossing the goal line.
It’s the first time the team asked James Hardy to do exactly what they drafted him to do, and he did it. I was starting to worry he wouldn’t show up this year, but just like that, he has his first career TD, and a pretty important one at that.
The defense, for the second straight week, held the opponent to less than 100 yards rushing, and less than 300 yards of offense overall. Even bigger was their ability to suck it up at the end of the game and cause a crucial three and out. The interception at the end of the first half was huge, as I believe I heard Stroud got a hand on that pass which ended up in McGee’s arms. Also, they consistently held Jacksonville to field goals which proved to be the difference.
Can’t really say too much bad things when your team wins a game on the road against a very good team in 90 degree heat. (some reports said it was triple digits on the field) I guess the real bad thing about this game was that, once again, I heard that people were on the golf course instead of in front of their TV’s. Now Jim Lalayanis has consistently avoided getting emotionally attached to the Bills since I have known him, so he gets a pass. But Greg Float? On the golf course duing a Bills game? Greg, the past EIGHT seasons was the time to be out hitting the links on the sabbath, not now! They scored on their first drive of the game! You can restore the “Float Doctrine”, which stated that you “don’t have a beer until they score a TD”. (that policy ended two games into the Todd Collins era) Well, I hope you at least recorded the game and were able to enjoy it at a more convenient time.
Oh, one bad thing. After holding out since January, Jason Peters was back in the starting line-up and got burned in the third quarter which resulted in a crucial fumble that led to three points for the Jags. I’ve seen eggs get beaten less than that. I’ve seen the NY Mets bullpen get beaten less than that. I’ve seen trailer park wives in Kentucky get beaten less than that. Ok, you get it, he was toast.
I am convinced there should be a law that prohibits the state of Florida from having any professional sports teams. Finally there is a good baseball team in Tampa Bay AND nobody shows up to watch. It wasn’t unusual that the Miami Dolphins wouldn’t sell out playoff games. As the cameras panned around the Jags stadium, not only were many seats empty, there were HUGE sections of seats covered by tarps that had advertisements on them. Is that what it has come to? You just put a “Verizon” blanket over the seats so that you “sell out” the game? The Jags went 12-4 last year! This was the home opener! What the hell is going on down there? I know it was hot, that’s no excuse! The worst sun burn I would get every year was at the Bills home opener. If you don’t like the heat, you probably shouldn’t have moved to Florida! Maybe they need to devote one whole section to senior citizens. They have to start reaching out to their demographic. Of course, then the games would have to start at 8am, otherwise they go to late into the day. With all this talk about the Bills leaving Buffalo, I think the NFL has to look at some of the more pathetic franchises in the league regardless of profit margins and marketability.
The Oakland Raiders come to Buffalo with Al Davis looming over his head coach like the Grimm Reaper over Ralph Wilson. They aren’t very good on the field and they are even more of a mess in the front office. That does nothing but worry me as the Bills are already 9 point favorites. The home crowd will certainly be energized with the team coming home 2-0. The defense has to shut down McFadden so they can victimize the young Jamarcus Russell.
Before the game on sunday I ran down to the store. On my way out I gave some change to a couple homeless guys hanging out on the sidewalk. The one asked “what kind of jersey is that, Giants?”. “No, it’s Buffalo, the Bills”, I replied. “Oh, you from New York?” inquired the bum. “Originally, yes, upstate, Binghamton area.” The vagrant became excited, “Oh! I grew up with my dad in Oxford, just outside of Norwich.” I was shocked and began to converse with the man as if we had been friends for years. “Well good luck to Buffalo, who do they play today”. “Jacksonville, it’s going to be a tough one.”, I said, nervously. “Oh, they’ll beat Jacksonville, no doubt about it.” stated with homeless man, with incredible confidence. “I hope you’re right” , I said, as I started my car, “I really hope you’re right”. He was, and I thank him for that, and hope to see them next week, same time, same place, same pungent aroma.