My wife of three years turned to me as we were watching the 4th quarter yesterday and said "I'm confused. The other team only gets like three plays and then we get the ball back. What's happening?" Needless to say, in the last three years (her only Bills fan experience) she's never seen a game like yesterday's.
I tried to respond reasonably with tempered expectations and the realism that can only come from years of heartbreak (let's not forget 2008, shall we?), but as I thought about it from her perspective I realized just how different this one game was from the past few years. And that leads me to this conclusion: we might have arrived as a good team.
Last year we were not a good team. We were an interesting team, or as I got sick of hearing from ESPN analysts, a "dangerous" team (code for: not a pushover, but really won't win in the end). Last year we couldn't put teams away, we made numerous mistakes, and we couldn't overcome bad bounces (read: 3 overtime losses / Steelers game / Bears game).
Yesterday, we kept our mistakes to a minimum. We took advantage of good field position. We didn't let up, and went for the jugular. We adjusted our defense to their no-huddle. We played very good in all aspects of the game. In other words, we did exactly what good teams do.
Sure, our opponent made a number of mistakes. Sure, we got some very good breaks. But what good teams do when that happens is win convincingly. The score was 41-7, exactly the kind of score that a good team puts up when they get some breaks against a team having a very bad day.
I feel like, and my wife's sentiments concur, that the '08, '09, and '10 Bills probably would have won that game - but not in that way. Maybe we would've won it 24-10.
What do you think - have we turned the corner? Has the team culture changed? Can we call ourselves a good team?