“Here we go again.”
“All that money spent on Super Mario! For what?”
These are just some of the things I heard from fellow Bills’ fans last week after the loss to the Jets (okay, I admit, the last one was from me). The loss was tough to take, not because it was a loss, but because of the lackluster play and non-existent defense that made all of the optimism built up over the off-season deflate like a popped balloon.
This Sunday, the Bills not only got the win against the Kansas City Chiefs, but they looked good. Actually, they looked like a totally different team than last week. However, just as the season was not completely lost last Sunday, the Bills are not necessarily playoff contenders because of this win against the
not-so-good Chiefs. That doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate that there were a lot of good things happening, especially with the defense.
Marcell Dareus was playing with a heavy heart this week. He just lost his younger brother, Simeon Gilmore, who was shot and killed in Alabama last weekend. The defense rallied around him, and when he sacked Matt Cassel with a couple minutes left to go in the first half, the tears in my eyes could not be stopped. It was emotional to watch the team support him, high-fiving and hugging, and the crowd roared even more than any ordinary sack.
The defensive line as a whole had a great game, sacking Cassel a total of five times and keeping consistent pressure on the quarterback, who never could get in a rhythm. They also looked great against the run, allowing 150 yards, most of which came at the end of the game in garbage yards.
The secondary, which looked downright pitiful last week against the Jets, looked much better this week. Cassel had a tough time finding any open receivers throughout the game. Stephon Gilmore looked much more comfortable and had some great coverage. Jarius Byrd caught an interception on Cassel’s Hail Mary attempt at the end of the game.
Bryan Scott recovered a fumble by Chiefs’ running back Peyton Hillis in the end zone, ending the seemingly inevitable scoring drive at the end of the second quarter. That led to the Bills kneeling on the ball to head into the locker room with a 21-0 lead. Mario Williams also recovered a fumble by Matt Cassel, setting up Scott Chandler’s touchdown. “We had a sense of urgency. It was just different from the very beginning,” Mario Williams told the media after the game. “We went out there and put it all on the line. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen last week, but we have to build on this and continue.”
Hopefully the momentum train continues into Cleveland next week, when the Bills face the Browns. The players can’t get too high on this win and need to look forward to next Sunday. Tomorrow. Today, let’s all just breathe a sigh of relief that we didn’t start the season 0-2, and enjoy the glow of a well-played win.
Also, shout out to the fans dressed up as refs at the game this week. At least, I think they’re fans….