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Column: The 2020 Vision

by Dan Borrello
September 5, 2020

If there is one thing western and perhaps central New Yorkers can be most hopeful about in this unprecedented year, it may be the Buffalo Bills.

Is that, oddly enough, good for the team’s luck?

Head coach, Sean McDermott, has put his team into the playoffs twice in three years with both a quarterback who is now on his fourth team (Tyrod Taylor, now starting for the LA Chargers), and another whom he and general manager, Brandon Beane, rearranged Heaven and Orchard Park to draft as a project from Wyoming.

McDermott may call the shots for the organization, but the man under center is its most important player.

Josh Allen is pegged to either build on what he did last season, or bust.

And among the many bizarre things in 2020 that have happened, there has to be something good to come-out of it, right? 

Anything??? If someone were to tell you, right now, “Look, the Bills are going to win the Super Bowl. But you can’t attend games, nor can you go to a parade,” even non-Bills fans in the area may say, “OK!!!”

How about just winning a playoff game?  But, either are a vast improvement over anything this franchise has given its fans since 1995.

Yes. This is the new drought. A much better drought than the last one. But, Bills fans are accustomed to worst-case scenarios. And, the slightest hint of doubt will bring back 17 years of nightmares.

Expectations always rise with a team that reaches the playoffs with a first-round quarterback early in his career. Add the fact the team added wideout Stefon Diggs, giving them what is considered a true, No. 1 wide receiver, a new kicker, and a draft where fans and media came to consensus over the draft the Bills weren’t forced to select for need.

It felt good to have confidence the Bills may have themselves in the best shape in two decades.

But this year, as we’re all well-aware, there have been zero offseason training activities, no minicamp, the preseason was canceled, and fans couldn’t watch much of training camp, with the exception of a video here or there; media were very restricted as to what they could report. 

That went for all 32 teams. 

This campaign may look a lot like 2011, when a lockout washed-out most of the offseason. Yet, there was still a camp and a preseason. This year? Fans can’t even attend games in cities like Buffalo.

Only so much has been reported, much of which is positive. But, we know even less about the Bills and every other team than we ever have heading into a season.

So here is an idea, whether you’re a Bills fan, or a Steelers fan like Times reader, Don Gordon:

No matter what, know that SEVEN teams will make the playoffs in each conference. 

Also know, Tom Brady is in the NFC this year, the Jets may be coached by a crazy person, the improved Dolphins may have to start a rookie coming off hip surgery with no OTAs, the Titans gave a contract extension to Ryan Tannehill, whom they hid through most of last season, the Browns have yet another new head coach, the Raiders are still riding with David Carr, the Chargers are starting Tyrod, the Broncos aren’t sure on Drew Lock, Bill O’Brien is as trusty with the Texans as Fredo running the Corleone family, and nobody is as good as either the Chiefs or the Ravens in the AFC.

In other words, while there may be bumps, other teams have their own issues to overcome.

So don’t jinx it getting too excited if this team soars, nor panic if they stumble early.

Play it cool. Act like you’ve been there before. And in two of the last three years, you have. 

Enjoy the ride. It will likely be a bizarre one. 

Always remember, if there’s ever a year to be Buffalo’s, why not this one?

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