There is a saying about not poking the bear; apparently it is a lesson the Buffalo Bills are yet to learn. After a sound beating of the Colts in Week 1, the Bills were starting to feel their oats.
It seemed the perfect time to face their arch-rival the New England Patriots.
But only one problem, the team and the city went a little overboard with the paraphernalia poking fun at the Patriots—a team that proverbially owned Buffalo—thanks to a 23-1 record in their last 24 meetings. From billboards strategically placed throughout the city, and even putting air pumps in the team store on prominent display. It is one thing to be confident that you can finally beat-up your big brother, it is something else entirely to take out a billboard in Time Square.
All the Bills seemed to do was piss the visitors from Boston—most notably Tom Brady. While the run game for the Patriots was non-existent, they were able to complete pass after pass, and get score after score.
Rex Ryan did not want to blitz in this game, instead electing trying to get pressure with arguably, one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. All that did was give the Patriots QB time to throw and find the open man. To the tune of throwing for 466 yards on 59 attempts and 3 scores, with the 466 yards being a record allowed by the Bills.
So did the Bills learn a lesson here? Were they really beaten by a better team? Was Ryan “outcoached” as he put it by Bill Belichick?
I wouldn’t be so quick to answer yes to any of these questions just yet, and I know these two teams will meet on a Monday night in New England later in the season. I would be willing to bet the Bills aren’t going to be talking as much trash.
But the good thing about the NFL is, you are only as good as your last game. If Buffalo can march into Miami and beat a Dolphins team that appears to be struggling as well, this loss will quietly go away. Of course, if Miami takes down the Bills too, it will just magnify what happened in Week 2.
Now I know you noticed that there was no mention of the offense here. I mean after all, Tyrod Taylor did throw 3 picks. But the team also had to scrap the game plan earlier than they wanted to as they were in catch-up mode in the last 20 minutes or so.
I was actually quite impressed and pleased with the offense in this one, if they could just control the turnovers, and maybe if the kicker had a better day, the outcome is different. Think of it this way, despite EVERYTHING that happened in this game, with 2 minutes to play, the Bills were still able to get the ball and try to drive to tie the score.
I think the lesson here is, never get too high or too low. Don’t taunt an opponent that may just be a sleeping giant such as the Patriots.