I was sitting in the place I call “the dungeon” in our house, thinking that it has been a while since I wrote something for the site. There have been so many things happening across the world that are newsworthy.
Nothing has captivated me like the run of OUR Buffalo Bills. They finished the regular season 13-3, which no one outside of Billsmafia thought that was going to be our record. Okay, maybe there were a few that thought that, but we all thought we were going to win the division. The AFC East was ours again since 1995. I was a scrubby teenager,14 years old, enjoying Kelly and the Bills at that time. It was in the 90s when it was just a given that the Bills were one of the best teams in the AFC every year. It almost became a norm for all us Billsmafia to expect the Bills not just to win the AFC East, but to win the AFC every year.
Wow, think about it more. Did I just wait 25 years to once again have that feeling? I almost forgot what it was like to win a division! Yeah, it did take us that long, and in that same vein, it took us 25 years to find our next franchise quarterback.
The first two years of Josh Allen were up and down to explain it best. You saw some of the good and bad every week in those first two years. The media wrote off Josh Allen before he even took a snap with the Bills. Yet, he kept faith. We all kept faith too. We kept faith in our team that we will one day get to that great place we once were. Newer Bills fans kept faith that they one day will see the Bills get to that place others talked about. Just like those examples, Allen kept faith in himself. Working hard each year on the stuff that makes quarterbacks great, he was determined to make all these Bills fans’ dreams come true. He wanted to show all the media what he is all about.
Allen came back in his third-year flexing, and he never looked back. No quarterback in NFL history has made the jump from where he was the first two years to his now third year. His stats show the most improved in every category. Think about it for a minute: he didn’t just improve to be middle of the pack; he improved from one of the bottom tier quarterbacks in stats to becoming a top-five quarterback. That is unbelievable! The dedication and faith of becoming great made him the darling for all Bills Mafia. Allen went from a write-off to an MVP candidate. Finally, we have the quarterback that fans and this franchise have been craving since Jim Kelly retired. Of course, he did not do it alone. There are many players, coaches, and management who all have impacted this team in positive ways and changed the culture. Yet in the end, this team would go nowhere without Josh Allen.
Now what? We are the AFC East Champions. Let’s get real, though. Do you think that was enough? Do you think that this team and fanbase think that’s it? Nope, they want more. This world expects them to do nothing more. These Bills players seem to take this kind of stuff to heart and want to show everyone they are more than just a fluke.
Going into the Wild Card playoff week, the whole world decided to playback the Bills playoff game from last year against the Houston Texans. They wanted to show how we let a 16-point lead slip away and lose. They kept bringing it up that we have not won a playoff game in 25 years. This year we were playing another good team, the Indianapolis Colts. We won’t beat them, the people in the NFL world stated. We were just the same ole Bills, they would say. I remember someone saying that Josh Allen will not be able to lead this team in the playoffs. Are they right? Well … no.
Bills Mafia felt that this team was different. There was something about this team that we have never seen in a Bills team for two decades. The Bills almost finished the season winning 10 straight games if it wasn’t for a fluke hail mary pass. They had one of the hardest schedules this year and still went 13-3. Were we the fan missing something about why this was the same ole Bills?
The Bills beat the Colts and won their first playoff game in 25 years. I sat in my living room silent, all by myself, as I saw the Bills on television celebrating. My wife came upstairs to ask me why I wasn’t celebrating loud. I broke down. I just realized how long I was waiting for this moment, and it just hit me hard. I couldn’t control the tears. It meant so much to me that the Bills won. The Bills weren’t just a football team, a sports franchise. It was a part of me; it was my family. When success has hit your family after so long, that is what you do. You cry!
After that emotional week, I had to sit through another week of media, friends, family, and fans of other teams all saying the Bills got lucky against the Colts. They all started declaring Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens weren’t going to lose to us. They told us to enjoy the one win. They told us our team could not stop the Ravens run game. Well, those people were in for a shock. They saw that Ravens team score a measly three points against us. Yet, were we not going to get destroyed? Wasn’t Lamar and the run game going to run us over? Put us down. We got this!
Wait, what? Are we going to the AFC Championship? Did everyone tell me that we would not make it out of the Wild Card game? Well, don’t look now, but the Buffalo Bills are in their first AFC Championship since 1993. Still, people want to put us down. It is the same old story this week again. People think we have no chance against the Kansas City Chiefs.
What do we have to do to get some respect in this league? Why do people think we have no chance week after week? We have won eight straight games including the two in the playoffs. We have won 11 of our last 12 games. We are the second-best passing team, first in the league in third-down conversions. I don’t want make this a stats article, but the list goes on and on. There are so many stats where we place in the top five. Yet we still don’t get a chance to win? I believe they do us a favor because this team goes out and plays their hearts out. They play out there like no one wants them to succeed or deserves to be there. The media always wants to talk about the other teams (except you Kyle Brandt, Michael Robinson, and Adam Schein). The media never give Bills the respect that they deserve.
I am telling everyone in Bills Mafia this: who cares? Let them say what they want. We know, as fans, what we went through all these years waiting for this team to get here. Most of us knew at the beginning of the season what they were capable of, and it’s showing. The rest of the world is just trying to catch up.
Enjoy this week, Bills Mafia. It’s been a long cycle that we have been waiting for our turn. I believe this is just the beginning of the success of this team. The ceiling is very high for this team, and we are not even close to hitting it. Enjoy it, Bills Mafia! We all have been waiting for what seems like a lifetime. They say we aren’t good! Well, they are right…BECAUSE WE ARE GREAT! Let’s get it…RISE UP! SUPER BOWL, HERE WE COME! GET THE TABLES!!!