OPINION: Anxiety? What anxiety?

It felt like smooth sailing for the Bills in their 31-10 win over the Rams

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – I returned to work on Tuesday from an end-of-summer road trip, and admitted I was experiencing more stress about the Buffalo Bills' season-opening game and their upcoming season than I expected.

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This was kind of jarring to me, because all the while the Bills had been ascending the past couple of seasons, I had managed to stay pretty calm and cool about it all. Enjoy the week-to-week, embrace the anxiety and have some damn fun with one of the best teams in the NFL.

That had been my spiel, and I had rolled it out in many different forms since things really got serious in 2020.

Suddenly, after an entire offseason of talking about Super Bowl favorite status and Josh Allen as an MVP candidate, I was getting bogged down by the weight of expectations.

I didn’t like it much, but I always strive to be honest, so I told you all about it.

I even said a few times that I needed someone to give me my speech. Howard Simon tried during our WGR Bills Roundtable Show on Wednesday and I appreciated it.

No offense to Howard, but apparently, all I needed was to watch Allen and the Bills offense march right down the field on the season-opening drive, capped by a brilliant Ken Dorsey play call for an Allen-to-Gabriel Davis touchdown.

Just like that, all the anxiety left my body.

Of course, the Bills didn’t really hit cruise mode until the second half against the defending champs, but my stress level was non-existent after that opening drive. Sometimes you just need to see them do that thing they do.

It allows you to remember that, indeed, just like you’ve been saying for months, the Bills are stacked. It seemed pretty clear after a couple of drives, and then even after turnovers by the Bills that gave the Rams some life, that Buffalo was the better team, especially up front.

The new defensive line killed the Rams up front. Killed ‘em! I’m pretty sure that when Matthew Stafford left the field after one last futile incompletion that he said to his coach, “I can’t hold the ball.”

You just love to see it.

There was so much to love about this game.

- Thousands, maybe many thousands, of Bills fans in Los Angeles for the game.
- Dorsey alleviating many fears about him with a masterful first drive as offensive coordinator.
- Allen’s stiff arm. I mean, damn.
- Devin Singletary on that same drive, looking like "Yo man, these Bills ain’t fooling around, running over would-be tacklers on the sideline!"
- Allen capping the drive after that one by outmuscling Bobby Wagner, man-sized NFL linebacker, to get the ball over the goal line to push the Bills' lead to 14.
- Von Miller and his new line mates living in the Rams' backfield all night long.

And Stefon Diggs. Man, is he ever great.

During pregame on Wednesday, I called for the Bills to go after Jalen Ramsey with Diggs. Now I don’t have the entire breakdown on who exactly did all the damage, but certainly we know Diggs torched Ramsey on his 53-yard touchdown.

Ramsey was thrown at seven times on the night, and the Bills completed six of those attempts for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Ramsey allowed a perfect passer rating of 158.3 for Allen when targeted.

Roasted and toasted is what that is. The swagger Diggs brought to the Bills, apparent the first time he stepped on the field, is undeniable. Best corner in the NFL, bring it on.

That’s what the Bills looked like Thursday night.

- Super Bowl favorites…
- Too much hype…
- Weight of expectations…
- Opening on the road against the champs, celebrating their title…
- Anxiety and stress of a championship starved fan base…

Bring. It. On.

Can’t wait for next Monday night. We get to enjoy this entire week of NFL games, and then next week's games, as well, before letting it rip at home against the Tennessee Titans.

I’m just so happy for the fans. What an absolutely tremendous way to start the 2022 season.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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