After 20 years, Buffalo Bills in same league as the Patriots
By Scott Bryk
It’s been a long process for Buffalo Bills fans, but it can be said that the Bills are now in the same league as the Patriots.
For those Buffalo Bills fans or others who are not familiar with him, “Negative Stanley” is the extremely opinionated, hometown bandwagon jumping, self-proclaimed Buffalo sports fan. For those who know of him, please accept my apology.
He is the Norm from Cheers loitering at our chiropractor’s office. Stanley has a rat pack posse of disciples who he preaches to in the waiting room at the chiropractor’s office. He certainly does not stop there as he must own shares by now at the corner Tim Hortons, where every employee knows his Buffalo Stance.
He routinely frequents a watering hole at Galleria Mall where he brings his performance of complete complaining to his loyal followers. He has been a key part of this weekly commentary since 2015. He certainly is capable of stirring up controversy.
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Negative Stanley was on his “A” game this past Sunday doing what he does best. Akin to the Bills defense, he did not disappoint both with his effort and execution. He went into great detail for all to hear in the club level seats in our section.
He was breaking down Josh Allen‘s performance from the very first drive. He pointed out the poor mechanics in his release of the ball and his footwork. Throwing on his back foot, not stepping up into the pocket, scrambling and running much sooner than warranted were hot topics.
Stanley mentioned multiple times as the interceptions piled up, that Allen was playing like the Wyoming QB. That would be a raw quarterback that has not been NFL coached and gaining praise since the return from his injury last season.
Stanley was all over Allen for decision making. Never once did he mention that he was only in his 15th NFL game playing against one of the best defenses in the NFL. The fact that Bill Belichick may be one of the best coaches of all time with his record, as well as his adjustments on game day, was not proposed.
He did not once claim Brady was showing his age, but certainly credited the Bills defense. After Allen went down injured, Stanley showed his true form. He was calling for Allen to be benched until it became a reality due to the hit to the head. At that point, he was loudly proclaiming that the hit on Allen ruined the Bills’ only real chance of a comeback. Unbelievable. Typical. Stanley did what he does best.
He complained relentlessly about Allen until he was out of the game. Then his tune changed claiming that the illegal hit took our best chance of winning out of the game. I just listened and took mental notes but said nothing. I wanted to focus on the game and not the needless complaining by the Negative One. I digress…
The Bills stingy defense held Tom Brady to nine points. Brady completed 18 of 39 passes for a total of 150 yards. He also threw an interception. Not the Brady that usually dominates the Bills in most games in past seasons. Brady and his offense have been dominating as recently as this season in the previous three contests. They move forward with a 4-0 undefeated record which they accomplished last in 2015.
The Bills scored the first touchdown against New England’s defense this season. The simple fact is Buffalo was in this game right up until the end even with Josh Allen tossing three picks and being sacked four times. Even following the helmet to helmet hit that landed Allen in concussion protocol, the Bills hung around. Matt Barkley chipped in one interception. A Buffalo punt was blocked earlier in the game being returned for a TD by the Patriots.
Other contiguous plays were obvious as well on the turnover side of things. To have Allen go out with a head injury and the team turning the ball over often speaks volumes of just how dominating the Bills defense is. It was pretty clear going into week four that in order for Buffalo to pull off an upset, they would need to take care of the football.
They did the exact opposite and were careless with the ball. That being said, the defense caused Brady to struggle going three and out often. The Bills were right there in the game to the very end in spite of everything that happened.
The defending Superbowl champions manhandled the previous three opposing teams. They barely escaped Orchard Park with a “W”. That indicates to me that the Bills are in the same league as New England, which in most previous seasons was simply not the case.
The Bills defense is elite. They can ameliorate sacking the quarterback. They can take the ball away spasmodically. Even with those couple very important action items being highlighted on the development plan, they are one of the most smothering defensive units in the NFL.
That would be safe to say after the 3-0 start. Making Brady uncomfortable all day long and backing that up causing him to resemble Peyton Manning in his last few NFL games, certainly solidifies that.