The wallpaper of my childhood is coming down. This is not a metaphor for anything. Walls are getting fresh paint and the Buffalo Bills border of my youth is getting scraped off this weekend.
It’s been up there so long I can’t remember exactly when it first showed up. I was small and the Bills were probably better. That’s about as specific as I can get.
I don’t know why I’m mentioning it. I’m not sad about it coming down, but it does feel significant in a way. Childhood giving way to time and all that. Last week, before the blowout at the Meadowlands, it was all about faith and hope and allowing yourself to get excited. Seven days later, reality seems to fit football much better.
Let’s get ready for the home opener.
Kickoff: 1 p.m. on CBS.
Your Announcers: Spero Dedes, Steve Beuerlein
Other Games You Can Watch If You Don’t Have Sunday Ticket, You Millionaire You (via the506.com)
New York Jets at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Seattle, 4 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at San Francisco, 8:20 p.m. on NBC
You know, in case another player suffers a horrific injury and you can’t remember who the backup is after the blunt force trauma.
Smart People Writing Words
Football Outsiders’ Bill Barnwell wrote about how good Mark Sanchez was against the Bills last week, which means he mentions at length just how useless the Bills pass rush was against the little stinker.
More than anything, what was truly notable about the Jets passing game was how much time and space Mark Sanchez had to throw. Buffalo’s collection of dominant defensive linemen wasn’t able to sack Sanchez once in 28 drop-backs, and they only forced him to scramble on a single occasion. Even a generous description of the word “hurry” would require just one hand to count the number of times the Bills bothered Sanchez in the pocket.
Notably, that applied to the specific matchup in which you would expect the Bills to have a significant advantage. Across from Austin Howard for most of the game was free agent catch Mario Williams, making his debut in a Bills uniform after signing a mammoth deal with the team during the offseason. Williams was supposed to benefit from the talent of players like Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams next to him, freeing Williams up from double-teams and giving him the opportunity to beat up overmatched tackles in one-on-one situations. Well, Williams got plenty of one-on-one shots at Howard (the tackle estimated afterward that he was alone versus Williams on 50 percent of the Jets’ offensive snaps, but it was the guy playing in just his fifth NFL game who won most of those battles. Howard was able to neutralize Williams on every one-on-one situation short one, in which Williams beat Howard and knocked Sanchez down as he threw. It didn’t stop Sanchez from completing his pass, though, and it was the closest Williams came to Sanchez all day. The Jets also got an excellent day from left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who came in for some criticism from Jets fans last year, as he managed to limit Mark Anderson to a single quarterback hit on the other side of the line.
The Bills defense last Sunday left much to be desired. At least we know it’s not just us.
It Came From the Bleachers
Bleacher Report got a nice redesign and was sold for a bunch of money recently. It is still, however, Bleacher Report. Let’s see what they have to say about the Bills:
My God, you can feel the SEO oozing out of this headline. They should have thrown “Erin Andrews kissing Kate Middleton” in there for good measure. Moving on.
If Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey mean it when they say they are always trying to make the team better, then they should be thinking about signing Plaxico Burress. Epically with the injury to David Nelson, Buffalo has to be looking for another wide receiver with NFL experience to add to its roster.
Yes, Nelson’s ACL tear was pretty goddamn epic. There’s really no sense in reading any further. I’m sold.
Amazingly Complex Cheifs Preview
Kansas City is still doing that Take the Lesser Patriots Quarterback and Try to Make it Work thing that the Bills tried once with Drew Bledsoe. It’s working about as well for them as it did for us.
PICKS PICKS PICKS PICKS
No one gives a shit who I think will win this game. Or any game. Ever.
“Yes in Buffalo, defense is a way of life. But the 18-7 loss to the Cheifs proves that offense is something that needs to come alive.”
The narration of these videos are incredible. Check out the one from 1969, if you want some lyrical inspiration. Ed Kilgore, this guy is not. It also features some bonus O.J. and clothes-lining, too. Also a loss.
Some Sunday Afternoon Jams
Where to Find Us
We’ll be on the Twitters all day, so feel free to say hello and swear at us.
At Least Make Your House Pretty
Home sweet home. Go Bills.