Oh, how sweet it is! After the Buffalo Bills went virtually unnoticed on their way to an 8-3 record, they finally got their chance to prove to the nation that they should be taken seriously. A Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas against the Cowboys. The Bills dominated, winning 26-15 as the country got to see what was cooking up in western New York.
Now, with just four games left to play, the Bills have more time in the national spotlight. First, a home game against the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, followed by a Sunday night clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bills first Sunday Night game since 2007. After that, the Bills play against the Patriots on a Saturday afternoon, which also is nationally televised. Long story short, the Bills haven’t had this much attention from the national media in a long time. This leads me into this week’s Thursday Thought: The Bills are swimming in uncharted waters.
Up until Thanksgiving, it’s been all 1 p.m. games for the Bills, none of which were nationally televised. They were all just regional broadcasts with commentators like Spero Dedes and Adam Archuleta (who I think are pretty good and I mean no disrespect towards them). However, in what feels like an instant, the Bills became a team that the NFL and its TV network suddenly want in their biggest games.
Now, as a fan, this is everything we’ve ever wanted. The Bills are a good team and are finally getting the national attention they deserve. However, what about the team? How is this going to affect the players? The coaches?
Is it possible that Sean McDermott is such a creature of habit that having these primetime games might mess up the rhythm of the week for this team? I guess it could be. It will be something that cannot be definitively answered until we watch this team play and respond to these big-time games. Nonetheless, it will be something to look for as we hit the final stretch of the season.
As for the players, all we can hope for is that the spotlight isn’t too bright for them. Early signs show that they might be ready for it. Last week they showed their focus on the field and their personalities on the sidelines and in the locker room. Just like the coaches, we won’t know until we see how they respond to the increased attention.
Until then, let’s enjoy the success of this team. It’s been a very, very, very long time since the Bills were this good (1996 to be exact) and were this relevant in the eyes of the national media. Soak it all in, because this may be the norm now for the Bills.
Mitch Broder is a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mitchell_broder