Keep calm and circle the wagons

Anthony Reyes, Opinion Editor

After week one, Buffalo Bills fans seemed to be ready to book their flights to San Francisco for this year’s Super Bowl. After week two, it looks like a lot of those fans may want to cancel their flights.

The Bills came out in week two, gearing up to play the New England Patriots in one of the most anticipated Bills games of this decade. The game started great for them, and almost ended great as well, but everything that mattered in between was just ugly.

They allowed Tom Brady to pass for more than 450 yards, they took 14 penalties which cost them a total of 140 yards, and they seemed to be out-skilled at every position, including head coach.

Most Bills fans are panicking after the loss. I’m here to tell you not to. To borrow a phrase from Aaron Rodgers, “R-E-L-A-X.”

1. It was week two

The Bills have just played two of their toughest opponents of the year, the two teams that met in the AFC Championship just a season ago, one who went on to win a Super Bowl. And it’s only week two, they came out of it 1-1. There are still 14 games remaining, none of them look nearly as challenging.

2. It was Brady and the Patriots

You know, that team and quarterback that dominate the Bills pretty much every single time they play them. Brady is now 24-3 against the Bills and the Patriots have won 27 of their last 30 against the Bills. This game was highly anticipated by many, myself included, but I think most people had the wrong mindset going into it.

I was anticipating the game because for the past decade, facing off against the Patriots has become the Bills version of a Super Bowl. I wasn’t expecting the Bills to win, the loss isn’t a surprise at all, I simply came into this game looking at it as a measuring stick. Expectations are so high for the Bills this year, this was a way to see where they’re truly at, it’s not all lost but there is still work to be done.

3. Everything that could have went wrong did

As I’ve stated, the Bills took 14 penalties and allowed Brady to throw for more than 450 yards. Their first year quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, looked nervous in the pocket about 75 percent of the time and threw three interceptions. Their highly paid defensive line was only able to sack Brady twice in his 59 drop backs. But, they were still only 80 yards and a two-point conversion away from tying the game and possibly sending it into overtime. That right there tells you that it’s possible for the Bills to beat the Patriots. They have the talent to keep up with them, everything just didn’t click at the right time.

4. Their problems are fixable

Not every quarterback is going to throw for that many yards simply because not every quarterback is Brady.  As long as Rex Ryan has control of his team, the penalty problems shouldn’t persist much longer. It was only Taylor’s second career start, of course he’s going to look nervous and make mistakes. As the season goes on he’ll learn from this mistakes.

As for the defensive line, according to Chris Trappaso of CBS Sports and Fox Sports, Brady averaged two seconds between his snap and his throw. The defensive line simply cannot get to the quarterback that quickly, unless there is no one blocking them. Again, not every quarterback is going to be able to make his reads and get rid of the ball that quickly.

5. They showed flashes of ability

Their opening 80-yard touchdown drive was one of the best drives I’ve seen a Bills team have in a long time. There wasn’t a single play where they didn’t look in control. Once the fourth quarter started, it seemed that they woke up, their defense began to make stops, and Taylor began to make plays.

Taylor hooked up with Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins on two beautifully thrown balls for touchdowns and even added a rushing touchdown of his own, a flash of the great potential he has as a running quarterback. LeSean McCoy, who has been bothered by a hamstring injury since the preseason, rushed for 89 yards, averaging 5.9 yards-per-carry. He looked explosive out there. Toward the end of the game, the defense forced Brady into some bad decisions and even caused him to fumble the ball.

It was just too late. They took too many penalties, turned the ball over too many times and put themselves too far behind.

As Bills fans, we’ve seen this story before. Expectations are always high and we always seem to get disappointed. So I can understand why some fans may be panicking already. But just as the week one win over the Colts was just one game, this was also just one game.

You shouldn’t crown them Super Bowl contenders after one game and you shouldn’t call them garbage after one either, there is no need to overreact.

Just remember, as Chris Berman would say, “Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.”