Week 1 Prep: Bills vs. Jets

When I think about football, I picture a much younger version of myself.

I don’t think about concussions or ticket prices or boozy Sunday mornings in a gravelly parking lot; I picture elementary school me with a Vortex football in a Jim Kelly jersey.

I’ve written about my youth as a football fan a number of times over the years. They usually end up being some of my favorite posts because it brings me back to a time where football was a very pure experience. There was no weighing the morality of cheering a big hit or high-minded articles about giving up football. There was just the game and the happiness and sorrow that followed.

I don’t wish for ignorance or a return to my youth. That’s not going to help anyone. What I love about opening day is that the feelings that once came with football come back to me. I’m just as excited about Buffalo Bills football as I was when Jim Kelly was my quarterback and Marv Levy was on the sidelines. Week One means limitless excitement and potential. Anything can happen, and nothing can tame those feelings. That the logical parts of my brain are just as excited makes this especially fun.

There is an unspoken promise that comes with watching sports when you are young. The compact is simple: Someday the joy will outweigh the misery and make it all worthwhile. No one tells you this outright; there is no contract you sign or paperwork to cite. This is a feeling, nothing more, but one that can overwhelm you if the mood is right.

I’ve said it before, and it’s still true: There’s still time. Consider this your game day prep.

Essential Info

Kickoff: 1 p.m. on CBS.

Your Announcers: Marv Albert, Rich Gannon

Other Games You Can Watch If You Don’t Have Sunday Ticket, You Millionaire You (via the506.com)

Washington at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on Fox

San Francisco at Green Bay, 4 p.m. on Fox

Pittsburgh at Denver, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Depth Charts: Bills. Jets.

Smart People Writing Words

I’m not sure where Smart Football came from, but I know that I enjoy feeling like a better football fan after reading something. This piece on Grantland about packaged plays was extremely interesting, but Chris Brown’s piece on why the Jets pass protection is disgustingly awful should especially delight.

To prepare for Mario Williams, the Jets’ scout team essentially lined rap superstar Aaron Maybin up offside. All signs point to the Bills defense actually being fun to watch. Pass rush! and whatnot.

Crash Warning

The Jets are likely to be a disaster this year, and there’s something wonderful about the fact that it’s their own damn fault. They drafted a young quarterback out of USC that was handled with kid gloves so well that his ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE poise made everyone squee with joy.

Then he didn’t deliver them a Super Bowl appearance and the Jets became an unsustainable hype machine that collapsed into itself in a glorious fireball of schadenfreude. To fix that, the team traded for the most overhyped backup quarterback in the history of football, giving the biggest sports media machine in America something to ram down our throats all summer.

Tim Tebow will start for the Jets at some point because, at some point this season, the Jets will struggle and the pressure will be unimaginable. I have no idea what will happen then, but the fact that the Jets actively put this pressure on themselves is hilarious. So is the contract extension Sanchez got shortly after his eventual replacement was acquired.

It’s going to be fascinating in an ohmyGodIcan’tbelieveI’mactuallywatchingthis kind of way. That it starts against the Bills is an unexpected joy. No matter what happens on Sunday, I have a feeling the Jets will be a very different team when they come to Buffalo in Week 17.

PICKS PICKS PICKS PICKS

No one gives a shit who I think will win this game.

Walk On

ESPN AFC East blogger James Walker had the tall task of replacing legendary human being Tim Graham at the four-letter. He’s had a tough time adjusting, starting with not understanding why Bills fans don’t pay full price for meaningless preseason games.

With that in mind, here’s a post Walker put up on Friday about the Bills’ first five games. Ready to get down and dirty with the schedule?

Week 1: at Jets
Week 2: vs. Kansas City
Week 3: at Browns
Week 4: vs. New England
Week 5: at San Francisco

This is a tricky schedule that includes three road dates in the first five weeks. The key in this stretch is the first three games. Buffalo is good enough to win all three games if the team has its act together. Sunday’s game against New York is definitely winnable, although we’re picking the Jets in a close one. A win in Week 1 could give the Bills momentum to get off to a 3-0 start. A loss would have the team trying to rebound. But I think Week 4 and Week 5 are probable losses. The Patriots will be well aware of returning to Buffalo after last season’s upset at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and a West Coast trip to San Francisco is brutal for any team. So the key for the Bills is winning their first three games.

In other words, it’s a good idea if the Bills win a few games. Yup. Enjoy Press Coverage for free while you can, folks.

YouTube Nostalgia

Back when the Bills — and Chris Berman — were good. Also, be sure to stick around after the clip for old car commercials, among other things we watched in 1988. What a video.

Some Sunday Afternoon Jams

Yes you can.

Shout, Damnit

Excitable 8-bit Adventure Time GIF

Where to Find Us
We’ll be on the Twitters all day, so feel free to say hello and swear at us.

Go Bills.