No one self-destructs quite like the Buffalo Bills

No one self-destructs quite like the Buffalo Bills

If Chris Berman is indeed still alive, and not just some hologram or rejected Chuck E. Cheese animatronic figure at this point, he probably wouldn’t go on air and say, “NOBODY BLOWS THEIR OWN DICK OFF LIKE THE BUFFALO BILLS!” Not because it isn’t true, but because he hasn’t updated any of his catchphrases since the Clinton administration.

Anyway, it’s getting harder to believe that it was only slightly less than two years ago when the Bills were mere seconds away from kneecapping the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium in the playoffs. Of course, only the Bills could prove that 13 seconds can contain multitudes if you want it badly enough.

Ever since that self-immolation, the Bills have just been off, like something broke inside of them and no matter how desperately they try to drown it in whatever they can find, it’s still gnawing at them. If you can’t fix what’s broken, you’ll go insane.

Insane, like sending two straight zero-blitzes at Russell Wilson with the game on the line. Not only would even Wilson figure out what to do with a second try, but it was also completely unnecessary. The Broncos were stuck 45 yards away from the end zone on third down, and all the Bills had to do was keep them from gaining 10 yards on the next two plays to win the game. Seeing as how Wilson was averaging about two and a half feet per pass all night, that shouldn’t have been that hard. Instead, Sean McDermott gave Wilson the chance to toss up an alley-oop in one-on-one coverage, where two of the four possibilities are bad. Taron Johnson never got his head around, the predictable PI, leaving Denver in chip shot range.

But any team can do that. Happens to just about everyone. Just takes one itchy ref. Experts in lighting one’s eyebrows on fire have to take the extra step. Or the extra man in this case, as it were. Wil Lutz missed said chip shot, but in the hustle and bustle that Sean Payton also pretty much needlessly provided in taking a knee and then shuttling the field goal team out there in 10 seconds to make sure there was no time on the clock when it was over, the Bills forgot to get the requisite players off the field and left one extra to loiter. Lutz got a second shot — game over, Bills in limbo.

The Bills certainly couldn’t argue they deserved to win. They turned the ball over on the first play from scrimmage, then watched Josh Allen yahoo his way into three more turnovers. They let a Denver team that took 10 penalties hang around all night, and then invited them into dinner when they wouldn’t get off the lawn.

Ever hear the sound of a window closing?

The Bills have the Eagles, Chiefs, Cowboys, Chargers, and Dolphins left on the schedule while they sit at 5-5. The thing about hoping a talented team is just going to pull it together is the hope clouds the reality. The Bills have shown just about everyone who they are now, a team that finds a way to cock it up just as often as they come through, and probably more so. Their coach will outthink himself at least once a game. Allen has become a “more cowbell” QB. Turnovers and dumb decisions are a lot for a team to overcome every week. They’ll flash one more time, and their fans will think it’s a corner being turned. There’s still a rake around the corner, and the Bills won’t miss it.

Jim Harbaugh thinks Michigan is America’s team

Speaking of losing one’s mind:

Someone should probably point out to Harbaugh Marx here that what Michigan is (hilariously and uselessly) accused of is not overcoming the odds, but trying to bend them. While this might be the dumbest “scandal” in recent sports history, the idea of cheating is the exact opposite of being the underdog. Yes, every team looks for any excuse to play the “Us vs. Everybody” card, even when the Us is responsible for everything going against them.

But Harbaugh is right in one sense, though he doesn’t know it. America loves someone taking the easy path to victory and success. Be willing to do what the other guy won’t, or isn’t capable of, or hasn’t thought of, or thinks that no one else would. It’s a country built on guys looking for the shortcut to the top.

So yeah, maybe Michigan is America’s team.

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.