That was exactly the type of game that the Buffalo Bills don’t usually win. It was refreshing to see the team get the job done in the final minutes of the game – beating the Carolina Panthers 24-23 on an EJ Manuel touchdown pass – as opposed to crumpling under pressure and letting the win slip through their fingers.
It was a clutch performance by Manuel, who orchestrated an 80-yard touchdown drive with only 1:38 remaining in the fourth. More importantly, it was a sign that the tides may finally be changing in Western New York. Being able to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots in Week 1 showed great resilience from this very young team and was the type of momentous win that can carry the Bills to further success throughout the season.
Buffalo squares off against the New York Jets next week, in a battle between rookie quarterbacks EJ Manuel and Geno Smith that should be fun to watch, at the very least. If the Bills can carry the momentum and winning attitude from Week 2 into MetLife Stadium and bring home a win, then there’s truly no telling how far they can go this season. Not only will a Week 3 victory improve their record to 2-1 on the season, but it will provide a much needed divisional victory against a vulnerable, inexperienced AFC East opponent.
Of course, it’s never a good idea to read too much into a single win in the NFL, especially if the winners are the Buffalo Bills. Still, given the uncharacteristically clutch nature of Sunday’s victory over the Panthers, it’s hard not to get excited about these new-look Bills. It’s very possible that we will look back on Manuel’s game-winning drive as a turning point for the 2013 season, if not the Bills organization as a whole.