In the wake of such a joyous victory, it’s probably no surprise that it’s taken a little longer to get a recap up. Words are simply insufficient to express the happiness with which I take every step throughout the Tri-State knowing that my beloved squad has vanquished such an annoying and petulant team from the nether regions of Douchebagistan, New Jersey.
Either that, or the Apologist offered to do the recap and then got burnt out by over-thinking it and now I am diligently picking up his fucking predictable slack.
Bullet points await!!
- The biggest surprise – and a welcome one at that – was the offense yesterday. Those guys looked BAD last week in Pittsburgh. The players, sure, but the play-calling and decision making even more so. They played incredibly timid against a pretty shitty opponent, essentially forfeiting the day to the idea of inching EJ back under center. Perhaps not without some purpose, as it turns out, since Hackett’s unit (heh heh, penis) looked INSANE yesterday. The play-calling was a masterpiece – shots downfield, viable secondary options running great routes, decent pass protection, and EJ Manuel controlling it all and cycling through his progression like a goddamned professional. Which is good since he, you know, is one. EJ was a polar opposite from the Steelers game, both in terms of what he did and what he was allowed to do through the game plan for the day. The consecutive deep balls in the 3rd quarter – a 40 yarder to Graham and that absolute boner inducing BEAUTY to Goodwin for 43 yards and the score – this is what we were told we were going to get with EJ’s arm strength upgrade over Fitz’s noodle and Goodwin’s speed upgrade over, well, everyone in the NFL. We hadn’t really seen it until this week. Fuck, it was great. Wait, is there a GIF? There’s a GIF.
- While we’re on the topic of EJ, I hope this puts to bed the idea that he’s not capable of playing good/great/elite football. He is. Whether he will is a question to be answered through the sands of time, but let’s just appreciate that we have a guy under center with the tools. Watching this all play out is going to be a treat.
- I still hate TJ Graham, but I hesitate in doing so. Sort of.
- The talk of ditching Stevie Johnson because he “wasn’t missed” Sunday is the same bullshit that Buffalo – and Mike Schopp in particular – seems intent on drudging up Every. Fucking. Year. Guy got back-to-back-to-back 1000 yard seasons with a Wonderlickmyballsian gunslinger underthrowing him, but yeah, he’s expendable. Dude has played through injuries this year, but yeah, he’s clearly not invested in being a Buffalo Bill. Dude mentioned that his workout regiment – the same regiment that gives him a body that can basically shatter the ankles of every DB in the league – doesn’t include lifting weights, but yeah, let’s all extrapolate that idea out and say he doesn’t exercise whatsoever. Fuck, we’re the worst. We wanted him to celebrate less. To cost the team fewer dumbshit penalties. He has. And in doing so, he’s devoted himself to the team, playing hurt, trying to acclimate himself to three different quarterbacks this season, not to mention other receivers playing alongside him, not to mention inconsistent running back play, and not to mention that the only person (maybe?) with a celebration penalty on this squad is the revered Fred Jackson… do I really need to spell it out anymore? He stays. The team continues to get better with his talent around. The end.
- We can keep Stevie and keep Byrd, but anyone who wants to pretend that Byrd is more valuable and it’s crystal clear that Byrd must stay if there’s a choice between the two? Ugh. Aaron Williams and Jim Leonhard have been serviceable/good safeties for the Bills this year. It’s not the hardest position to play on the field. Stop rationalizing the decision to push one of the Bills best receivers ever out the door.
- All of this is moot because the Bills will probably not sign Byrd and cut Stevie and then move to Vegas.
- I love the defense so hard. Yes, Byrd. Yes, keep him. But up front? It’s delightful. Full of delight. The Bills blitzed all day on Sunday, fun was had, Geno’s soul was crushed, and it all was the reason for the W. Last week, I posted a picture of the Bills drives results to put the shitbag of an offensive outing into stark contrast. Today, it’s again fitting, but on the other side:
- One of the biggest reasons that I love the defense so much this year, apart from my heavy handed man crushes on Mario Fucking Williams and Kiko “I always look like I’m high, let’s listen to some Cypress, mannnnn” Alonso, is the play of both Aaron Williams and Leodis McKelvin. I’d written them both off, though perhaps a little prematurely with respect to Williams, and a little belatedly for McKelvin. These guys were bad last year. Really shitty. But suddenly, they’re both making plays on a routine basis and are not the kinds of weak links that a lot of us fans expected them to be. I like surprises. Especially ones that encourage me to drink more.
- Speaking of the secondary, I wanted to share this stat because it speaks volumes about why this second Jets game went so much better than the first… Geno in Week 3 vs Justin Rogers - 6 of 9 for 254 yards and 2 tds. Geno in Week 3 vs everyone else – 10 for 20 for 77 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs. Geno Smith vs Bills in Week 11, with Justin Rogers not on the team? 8 of 23 for 103 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs. Credit to Marrone et al for correcting a glaring deficiency and getting the secondary right. Also, Geno may be really bad or the Bills defense may be really good or perhaps both? (credit to twitter account @BrianMC630 for pointing out these stats).
- I’m going to take a moment to remind you all of the New Orleans game before we start to go overboard with the optimism.
- Moment of silence and pessimism over… I love Dan Carpenter. He is the nuts. Nick Folk, on the other hand, thank you for this. We’re indebted.
- Jets Nation or whatever the fuck these knuckledraggers like to call themselves (/remembers #BillsMafia //curses vehemently) is going BONKERS over this loss. It looked atrocious, as have many of their losses this year – a rout to Titans, a rout to Bengals, a loss to the Steelers who haven’t really been able to beat anybo… WAIT A MINUTE – and it has the previously brimming-with-optimism fans feeling pretty terrible about their life choices. As they should. This all, of course, gives me immense joy, both as a Tri-State resident and general loather of all things New Jersey Jets. Week 3 was a depressing day to be at MetLife, but now? So fucking good. Fuck them and their not-in-NY squad that probably all lives in Hoboken because they want to be on Cake Boss. That win was amazing.
- As for the Bills fan base, I urge all of us to keep calm with the delusions of grandeur. It was a great win over a hated rival, but it also did the damage of giving us a small glimmer of hope for a playoff push over these last five games. YES, I know that these games are all winnable – Falcons, Bucs and Jags, followed by Miami at home and a likely second-string Patriots squad to end the season. But it doesn’t matter. This is not the year. It’s not going to happen, so let’s just enjoy what this team actually is – a team still fighting for football victories in November; a team that continues to show us growth; and a team that will be fun as hell to watch – again – in 2014.
Or at least this is what I’ll be telling myself to keep my blood pressure in check as we coast through this bye week and anxiously await sitting down to watch this Bills team again.
Fucking Go Bills.