You know what’s fun?
Winning, of course, is fun on its own, but you don’t have to look any further than last season to notice that the 2020 Buffalo Bills are way more fun than the 2019 Bills, who started well and pretty much cruised into the playoffs.
That doesn’t mean that this year’s 4-0 start is a whole lot better than last season’s 5-1 start. The standings are the standings, and how we collectively feel about the team doesn’t change the standings.
As good as their record was last season, many Bills fan were worried that there just wasn’t enough there on offense to really be a threat in the playoffs. That, of course, proved to be true in the end and it hardly was a surprise.
The 2020 Bills are benefiting from their coach and general manager recognizing their team’s shortcomings, working an offseason plan to address those shortcomings, then turning their talented quarterback loose to reap the benefits of their work.
Remember run and stop the run and our region’s blue collar ethos? How the weather meant you’d better be ready to win low scoring football games? These are points that both Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane made more than once in the early stages of their tenure steering the Bills.
That’s gone, at least for now and maybe, hopefully, for good.
Patrick Mahomes exists and so do all of the other teams that are running progressive, pass heavy attacks. Scoring is up, passing yards are up. The NFL, perhaps in a pandemic more than ever, will always favor offense. It should surprise no one that officials are calling far fewer holding penalties against offenses, making it easier for quarterbacks to light up the scoreboard. Are you worried about the Bills defense? I get it. But please, pay attention to what’s going on just about everywhere in the NFL.
I don’t know how hard it might have been for McDermott to choose this path. Remember, how we all may have felt about the style points, the Bills coach has been in the playoffs two years out of three. I have no idea if McDermott was resistant at all to turning the Bills into a passing machine, but continuing to favor a conservative approach certainly wouldn’t have been indefensible, especially to a defensive minded head coach.
Instead, we get a Stefon Diggs trade. Then we get two more wide receivers in the draft, one of whom, Gabriel Davis, is already a significant contributor. All of that was an acknowledgment that the Bills knew they needed to find their way to a more explosive offense.
Then they actually had to trust Josh Allen to operate that offense. The improvement in all areas for Allen has been nothing short of startling to watch. His performance leaves little doubt that he has worked and worked and then worked some more at his craft. Yes, there is still the occasional play that makes you cringe. But mostly, it looks like the game has slowed down and Allen has learned enough through trial and error, that when the rubber meets the road we’ve got traction and massive acceleration.
Traction and massive acceleration are way better then a burnout and lots of smoke.
In case you were wondering.