It's not too crazy to imagine that you'll be sitting around many years from now, reminiscing about the 2022 Buffalo Bills in the same conversation with teams like the 1989 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Washington, 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1999 St. Louis Rams or any one of the iconic great teams of all time.
That's the Bills' ceiling. Whether they reach those heights remains to be seen. First they need to worry about things like holding off the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East and making sure a playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs won't be in Arrowhead Stadium again. It's just two games into the season. There's a long way to go.
But to this point in the season, the Bills have been absolutely dominant. They blasted the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the opener and then on a Monday night stage they were even better in a phenomenal 41-7 win over the Tennessee Titans, a team that was the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season. The Titans might not be the same team this season but it was still an impressive effort by the Bills.
Injuries happen and plenty of teams have started the season fast just to fade a bit. It's a long season. It's just hard to not get excited about where this Bills season might be headed.
Bills dominate the TItans
Bills fans, fired up about the possibility of this team bringing home the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history, were loud from before the opening kickoff. Then the Bills drove downfield and scored on their first possession, with fullback Reggie Gilliam breaking tackles and taking in a short pass from Josh Allen for the touchdown.
The Titans answered after that with a Derrick Henry rushing touchdown, but it would be a long time until we saw more signs of life from Tennessee's offense. It wasn't even an indictment of the Titans. The Bills might have the best defense in the NFL this season.
They might have the best offense in the NFL as well.
The Bills were equally good on both sides of the ball against the Titans, but the offense is what everyone will talk about. Allen threw three touchdowns to Stefon Diggs. One came on an improvised play in which Allen spun back to his right and found Diggs in the end zone on a fourth-and-1. Later he wound up and threw deep to Diggs down the middle of the field for a 46-yard touchdown. A bit later in the third quarter Diggs scored another touchdown.
When Diggs scored his third touchdown he had 148 yards on the night. At that point the Titans as a team had 112 yards. Allen took a seat near the end of the third quarter with the game out of hand. In a little less than three quarters he had 317 passing yards and four touchdowns.
With 8:33 left in the third quarter, a weird thing happened. The Bills sent on the punt team. It was the first time the Bills had punted all season, after about six-and-a-half quarters. The Titans muffed the fair catch and Buffalo recovered.
Everything is going right for Buffalo early this season.
Bills defense looks great too
The Bills defense shut down Henry, and the Titans didn't have another counter-punch. Henry had just 25 yards on 13 carries. Ryan Tannehill had just 117 yards passing and a 32.7 passer rating. Some of that is the Titans, but ask the Rams: The Bills defense is really hard to beat.
The Titans had 75 yards on their first drive and then 42 yards on their next six possessions combined. Here were the Titans' possessions from the Henry touchdown until the time Tannehill was taken out of the game: punt, punt, end of half, punt, punt, interception, interception. The Titans simply couldn't find a way to move the ball.
The defense got in on the scoring party too. Bills linebacker Matt Milano picked off Tannehill and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. That gave the Bills a 41-7 lead with 3:49 left in the third quarter. The Titans pulled Tannehill at that point and gave rookie Malik Willis some playing time. It's not like the Titans were going to mount a comeback with Tannehill, and he was being pressured often by the Bills' pass rush. If Buffalo wanted to run up the score, it felt like they could have won by 50 or 60.
The Bills' offense, led by Allen and Diggs, would be enough to make them a dangerous team in the playoffs. The defense alone would win a lot of games with just a mediocre offense on the other side. Combine the two and the Bills could be in for a special season.