The Buffalo Bills were able to overcome a slow start in their first game of the season, defeating their division rivals 17-16.
Buffalo was able to overcome some truly sloppy quarterback play early, as young passer Josh Allen battled through a rusty two quarters that saw the Jets take the early lead.
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Allen turned the ball over four times as he struggled to gain a rhythm until the fourth quarter, but when he got going, the Jets couldn’t stop the 23-year-old second-year starter.
The Bills recent acquisition Cole Beasley caught five passes for 45 yards, showing his safety-blanket skillset that had become famous in Dallas.
And the passing game, in general, was not lacking participants, as seven different individuals recorded a catch throughout the game.
As Josh Allen and Sam Darnold battled it out, it was impossible not to think of the future of the AFC East, a division dominated by Tom Brady and the Patriots for the majority of this millennium.
Still, whether you believe that this is the last year of TB12, or that he still has a handful remaining, the Jets and Bills seem to each have their franchise quarterback for the future.
No one can play forever, and eventually, New England will have someone else under center, and someone else calling the plays. And when that day comes, it will be interesting to see what a then-mature Darnold and Allen can do when they are the experienced ones in the division.
The Bills were a slight underdog in this game, and early on it seemed that the oddsmakers may have been on to something. But in the fourth quarter, the offence came alive, and it was all started by their rushing game.
Delvin Singletary specifically stood out as a player the team can trust to keep drives alive. The fourth quarter’s first scoring drive was almost single-handedly orchestrated by the rookie running back, who either rushed or received the majority of the drive before Allen rushed it in himself. With NFL veteran Frank Gore rounding out the rushing corps, the Bills have a rushing game they can rely on.
Buffalo can choose to stay in the city if they wish. Their next game is a road game against the New York Giants, and will see them play the rare second road game in a row at the same venue. The week after, the Bills play host to the Bengals in their home debut, a team that many have to finish in the bottom of the AFC.
It is vitally important for Buffalo to win these games, and start the season off strong. The schedule makers were not kind to the Bills this year, and they will play the Eagles, Browns, Cowboys, Ravens, and Steelers in addition to their usual two games each year against the Patriots.
The Bills will be hard-pressed to grab wins in those games, and so they might as well make it easier on themselves in the coming weeks.
But if Sean McDermott gets the kind of fight he saw in the fourth quarter in those games, he should have nothing to worry about. His young quarterback showed resilience and poise well beyond his years, and weathered the early storm in a hostile crowd.
If they can avoid any more slow starts, Buffalo may prove everyone wrong in 2019.
What are your thoughts on the Bills Week 1 win? What is something they should work on? What can they build on with this victory? Let us know in the comments below.