The Buffalo Bills beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams 31-10 on September 8, 2022.
The Buffalo Bills beat the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams 31-10 on September 8, 2022 in primetime.
All games count the same in the win/loss record. But not all games count the same when it comes to the national narrative surrounding the team. The Buffalo Bills coming out and giving the reigning NFL kings a drubbing in Week 1 solidified the conversation around them being meaningful contenders.
And the Bills have the opportunity to do it in Week 1 again in 2023.
The New York Jets have been the talk of the league since acquiring future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a trade with the Green Bay Packers prior to the 2023 NFL Draft. They were hand-selected by the league to star in HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” further building the hype surrounding the team heading into the regular season. The national media overall has christened the Jets, rather than fellow 2022 playoff team the Miami Dolphins, as the one to knock off the Bills as the kings of the AFC East:
But the Bills get to face off against their alleged usurpers in Week 1. In primetime.
The opportunity is meaningful when it comes to not only getting a leg up on another division title, but also turning the story Tuesday morning into: “Are the Jets the biggest disappointment from Week 1?”
Why on earth do I care about the national conversation?
Players, coaches, and team executives can block out those discussions (thought they’re often lying when they say they are), but I personally don’t like being on social media as much when I’m inundated with memes about my team being a disappointment, regardless of how humerous those memes may be. Consuming content when your team is viewed as a disappointment isn’t as enjoyable as consuming it when your team is either a.) viewed as a good team with a chance to compete for a title or b.) not talked about at all.
Even irrelevant is better than disappointing.
It’s purely a selfish desire on my part. Detroit Lions fans are currently basking in the glow of a big win to open the season against the reigning Super Bowl champs. The discussion is about the Chiefs’ wide receivers and whether or not they’ve lost one too many pieces to have an explosive offense in the absence of a soon-to-be 34 year old Travis Kelce. The Chiefs have to come off a Super Bowl high right into bathing in that for ten days between their opening Thursday Night Football loss and their next game. I want the Lions-type glow for Bills Mafia and I want the Chiefs-like disappointment for the fans of the New York Jets, and not the other way around.
The Bills stealing thunder happened in Week 1 of 2022. Here’s hoping they get to do it again in Week 1 of 2023.
...and that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’m Bruce Nolan with Buffalo Rumblings. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @BruceExclusive and look for new episodes of “The Bruce Exclusive” every Thursday on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network!