Week 11 of the NFL season began on Thursday night, with the Miami Dolphins going into upstate New York to take on the Buffalo Bills. It marked the first of their two divisional match-ups, and with the Dolphins having lost their last two games, I was looking forward to watching Miami reestablish themselves as a team on the rise.
Buffalo came into the game ranked last in the league in points allowed, giving up an average of 31.7 points a game. The 410 yards per game average they were giving up to opponents was good for next-to-last, and between the two, it was clear this could be the bounce back game the ‘Phins needed.
As I sat at my desk contemplating how many yards Reggie Bush would be able to get against the Bills 32nd ranked run defense, I was approached by one of my esteemed colleagues here at Rant Sports. We chit-chatted for a bit, but then my fellow NFL columnist got down to business, and offered a wager on Thursday’s game. I was instantly intrigued by the suggestion, and even before he had finished outlining the details, I thrust my figurative hand forward, officially accepting the terms of the bet and respectfully thinking to myself “SUCKER!”
Now, I share a home here at Rant Sports with some of the most talented sports journalists the world has to offer, so when a colleague offers me a wager of any sort, the red flags go flying. This time though, I snipped the rope before the flag could be raised, quickly extinguishing any alarms that may have been ringing. After all, I was dealing with a homer; a fan who loves his home team so much, he overlooks the stats and facts, believing his team will win against every opponent they face.
You see, the colleague who had challenged me to this bet was Scott DelleFave, featured columnist for the Buffalo Bills, and his proposed wager would be the ultimate cherry on top of a very satisfying win.
And so, Thursday came and the game began, and while I sat and watched, I witnessed the rise and fall of two teams heading in opposite directions. We could sit and talk about what the Dolphins did not do last night, but the terms of my wager require me to expound upon the Bills, which is easy, considering how good they have the potential to be.
The Buffalo Bills have turned the corner and are easily the second best team in the AFC East.
I do not say this just because of how they won on Thursday night, because they could have played better than they did. For instance, the Bills dominated the first half, and yet only kicked field goals. They failed to score anything in the second half, and allowed the Dolphins to stay in the game, giving them a chance to steal the game on two drives in the final minutes. So, no, the critique is not based solely on Thursday’s game
What I am basing my statement on is the way they match-up and compete within their division, most specifically, their ability to challenge the best team in the AFC East, the New England Patriots.
We have all heard how in order to be the best, you have to beat the best, and I seriously believe there is no other team in the division that can consistently put themselves in a position to do just that than the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills have playmakers at every position. They have a strong armed quarterback, two dynamic running backs, a premier wideout and a defense bursting with talent. They challenge the New England Patriots in every way, and it will not be long before they eliminate the mistakes that have let the Pats off of the hook, as of late.
The pieces are there for the Buffalo Bills, and if they play to their potential, like they do against New England, then they will have an opportunity to become one of the leagues premier teams.
It is with this thought that I will conclude my story of the impressive Buffalo Bills, the disappointing Dolphins, and the pride bet that instigated my sudden display of fandom.
Just remember, a Week 16 rematch is fast approaching, and I will have my vengeance, in this season or the next.