This is the 3-2-1, raising awareness for the NHL’s need to implement a 3-2-1 point system. How do we do that? Just by saying it…
Now some quick thoughts on the Buffalo Bills’ passing game, Josh Allen’s “haters”, and a cause we can all get behind.
3.) The “Big Three” for the Bills
At 3-0, the Bills are off to a great start. Last season, a 3-0 start was a good indicator of what kind of team they had as they cruised to a 10-6 mark that likely goes down as 11-5 if they’d tried to win their final game against the New York Jets.
This 3-0 feels different than last year’s 3-0, and I’ve got three reasons why:
– The passing game:
Josh Allen’s MVP level of play is downright gloriously wonderful. It’s like living on vacation, or something. For years and years, thousands of Bills fans would watch as other teams routinely passed for 300 or 400 yards in a game and wonder if it would ever happen here. It’s not even an accomplishment to do it once in a while, but to do it three weeks in a row, and for it to be the primary reason you’re winning games, is fun.
Allen has been just tremendous, and that’s through some frantic moments at the end of this past Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. Sure there’s a bit of luck mixed in to that victory, but you have to be in a game with the 32-point Rams to get that little bit of luck.
Allen, Diggs, Brown, and Beasley with help from Gabriel Davis, Tyler Kroft, and (just like we drew it up) Reggie Gilliam, are finding the end zone routinely. This isn’t just something that means wins now, it creates a feeling that no game is over. It gives birth to a belief that the team can hang with, maybe, any opponent.
That leads to…
– Looking at the schedule differently
In years past, it’d be about identifying games they couldn’t win.
“Ok there’s two against the New England Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens. They’re not beating Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, oh and the Seattle Seahawks too, so… ugh. Gonna be tough, gotta get your wins against the bad teams and have no letdowns along the way.”
Yeah, now it’s about wanting those marquee matchups. I know the Bills play the Jets again, but that sounds awful to me. I wanted the Rams. I want the Chiefs and Patriots and Tennessee Titans now.
For the first time in a long time I’m really upset that the Bills don’t play the Patriots until… November? What? Who did that? That’s terrible!
The Patriots are new and fun and still good, and they’re still in the Bills’ way. The Bills are new and fun and good too, and this whole new life of ours seems like it will crescendo in the first three hours we watch Bills-Patriots. Let’s go! Get here, New England!
That unfortunately means we also have to think about…
– Not being there
No fans for the foreseeable future stings. It does. I don’t know that there’s a lot to really say about it because any conversation about it starts to go down a track that makes me very uncomfortable. You’re making a good point about 7,000 fans and then someone is saying things like, “Well people die all the time” and it goes off the rails.
Let’s just all agree that it sucks. It sucks. Let’s see how the NFL gets through this COVID-19 flareup with the Titans and Minnesota Vikings, moving games around, and go from there.
2.) No apology necessary
For anyone out there that thinks that you must apologize for getting things wrong about Josh Allen, nah.
Getting things wrong about sports is one of the reasons that we watch. Admitting you got something wrong isn’t hard.
Taking new information and re-evaluating your opinion is a good thing. When a player proves people wrong, that’s entirely normal in sports. The attacks on Allen’s passing ability have not been personal attacks. Allen is one of a thousand starting NFL quarterbacks that have had people doubt them.
Every quarterback in the league had “haters” from Day 1. Every. Single. One. It doesn’t stop once you become a good quarterback either.
This offseason, we watched as Dak Prescott was mocked for wanting $40 million a year. The reigning MVP had a bad night on Monday Night Football and the internet is flush with takes that he isn’t any good. Donovan McNabb was booed at the draft. Baker Mayfield was called a midget by a host in Cleveland and called him “Johnny Manziel 2.0” from the jump. Tom Brady was a “system quarterback” until his, what, third Super Bowl?
It comes with the territory.
Maybe we’re all just getting used to this new spotlight, right? We wanted the Sunday and Monday Night Football games. We wanted Thanksgiving attention. We’ve wanted the league to pay attention now, and the league most definitely is. You’ll find about, what, 20 times more “Josh Allen is the league MVP” takes than you’ll find “He’s not accurate” takes right now.
But just wait… make it two years without winning a playoff game and he’ll get the “can’t win a big game” treatment that Lamar Jackson is facing right now.
Peyton Manning used to have that title. Hell, on a CBS pregame show, Boomer Esiason once flat out insulted Dan Marino for not winning a Super Bowl. In retirement, your accomplishments, or lack thereof, are fair game.
Allen has proven a lot of people wrong, but he has so much more to prove at this point. He isn’t owed an *apology* from people that doubted him, and he certainly seems to be earning their respect. Look around. He’s getting it.
3.) Elite season
Hey, it’s raining hard right now, so maybe you think fall isn’t all that elite. I assure you, it is. We’ve had a great start to the season, and Thursday looks great.
If you love fall, you can do something very good for a great local cause.
The Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network is getting all the proceeds of a couple hoodies that I’ve put together with the help of Nick Mendola, and Jim Liberatore (@AdLib716 on Twitter)
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and with the pandemic and the state of fund-raising for all causes in the country a bit limited, you can help. About $10 of every purchase goes directly to this organization that helps families grieve the loss of a child. The money stays local, and helps people here.