When sports teams go on the road, they often call it a “business trip”.
What the Bills did this weekend wasn’t a business trip. It was a vacation.
This is not to disparage the level of competition. Not once in this column will I use the Dolphins, their record or their lack of talent as a caveat for what the Bills accomplished on Sunday.
See… when you take a vacation, you try to get away from your problems. It’s a chance to try something new. The hope is to refresh the mind and the body. You want to get yourself right.
That’s exactly what the Bills did in Miami. They got right.
The offense that had been plagued by doubts all week (really, all year) was dynamic. More important, it was consistent. They scored on seven of their first ten drives before the game got out of hand.
There were no tricks or excuses. No short fields on turnovers (the shortest TD drive was 53 yards). This was a dominant NFL offensive performance.
And Josh Allen was at the center.
The numbers were really good. Four total touchdowns. No interceptions. No fumbles. Nearly a career high in yards. A completion percentage over 60 percent.
Even better, Allen looked composed, confident and in control. He effortlessly seemed to go through progressions for the first time in weeks. He and John Brown (nine catches, 137 yards, two scores) were a top flight NFL QB-WR connection for once.
Sean McDermott wanted his team to play fearless this week. We thought he was talking about Allen and the offense. It might have been more about the defense.
Weeks of issues against the run have inundated the Bills with questions about gap integrity and being in exactly the right spot at all times.
Lorenzo Alexander thinks it made the Bills rigid. They needed to try something new: freedom.
“This game is played with instinct as well,” Alexander said. “One of the messages today (was) if you feel like something is happening because you’re the ones out there playing, take a chance. If it makes sense… there’s no reason for a coach to downgrade you.”
The free Bills defense was a nasty Bills defense. Pay no attention to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 300 plus yards. Buffalo was in control start to finish and has seven sacks to prove it.
The caveat for me isn’t about the tanking Dolphins. It’s about the Bills. Is this going to be one Tremaine Edmunds inspired exception or is this the start of a brand new and improved Bills team?
That’s a question for next week. For now, the Bills can return home like any one who got away from the cold for a weekend in Miami.
The problems of the past few weeks are gone. There’s a fresh attitude. They’re ready to attack the grind of the last six weeks.
Everything is all right.