The Bills win over Kansas City was interesting. The win over Oakland was exciting. But the Bills win over the Patriots Sunday has the potential to be franchise changing. Standing in the Bills locker room after the game we heard over and over from the players that the win against New England, breaking the streak, was just another win on the schedule. That statement, in a word, is a LIE. The players know it. The fans know it. The reporters know it. And maybe even the rest of the teams in the NFL now know it. The win not only ends the embarrassment of all of those losses to one team, it sends a message that there are not the same old Buffalo Bills.
When I say it has the potential to change the franchise, don’t think I have these Bills in the playoffs yet. There is a ton of football left to be played in the regular season, including a trip to Foxboro, two games with the Jets, the entire NFC East and a game out west in San Diego. But I believe beating the Patriots and going to 3-0 has the potential to change the perception of Bills football around the NFL. Up until yesterday the Bills were the “cute” story on the networks. Pompous ESPN did everything but pat them on the head or pinch their cheek when they talked about Chan Gailey’s team. But now? Now they have shown that they can take on the best and win and I think they have earned respect.
Most impressive players
1) 1.Fred Jackson. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been spectacular in the two comebacks over the past two weeks, but you could make an argument that Fred Jackson should be considered, three weeks into the year, as the best running back in the NFL. Everyone knows Peterson and Johnson are spectacular, but who is playing better than Angry Running Fred?
2) 2.Ryan Fitzpatrick: He got bailed out big time when he made an awful throw in the 4th quarter that was picked off only to be overturned by a penalty. But his ability to find open receivers is special. And to think he does this all without Lee Evans getting triple teamed.
3) 3. Leodis McKelvin: Leodis played against the Raiders like he had never been on an NFL field before. But Sunday against New England he was very good. Not only did he have a huge interception but McKelvin was solid all day in coverage. It appeared he was never matched up with Wes Welker who caught 47 passes for 850 yards.
Least impressive players
1) Aaron Williams. I think the young cornerback has a chance to be a really good player. But that wasn’t the case yesterday and that wasn’t the case against Wes Welker. Williams wasn’t the only guy Welker tortured on his way to an NFL record 53 catches Sunday. But the rookie from Texas looked totally overmatched. Williams got hurt and might miss a significant amount of time.
2) Tom Brady: I will start by saying he is the best player in the NFL. I will continue by saying his first 15 minutes yesterday were an example of perfect quarterback play. For purely envious reasons I will point out that Brady is a multi millionaire, multi -Super Bowl winning, perfect hair wearing, supermodel marrying superstar quarterback who has the world on a string. But yesterday he threw four interceptions and handed the Bills a chance to win the game. He isn’t perfect, he only seemed like it
I did not have the guts to pick the Bills to win yesterday but I am very pleased to be wrong. It is great to cover a relevant team in the NFL again and to force people to pay attention to the Bills. Chan Gailey has proved he can coach before and during NFL games. Buddy Nix has proved, at least to this point, that he can make decisions on who to keep and who to let go. And these players have bought in to the program. After a decade of disaster Bills fans deserve some fun.