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Best, Worst, & Favorite Opening Games


corta765
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We are finally ever so slowly inching towards the start of the football season and this year is pretty neat with the Bills going to LA to opener the NFL year. I am willing to bet the game will probably be a thriller with some end of game drama either way.

 

It got me thinking about what my favorite/worst/best opening season games were as a fan and figured I would list mine and see what other people had for theirs. As an 80s baby my memory starts in the 90s so if you are before that would love to hear about some past games good bad or just a favorite. FYI for the worst game putting something like the 2018 Ravens game doesn't hold much weight to me because yea the Bills lost bad but expectations were incredibly low heading into that season.

 

Favorite:

1996 Giants win- On TNT Sunday Night the Bills rally back to win 23-20 in OT in the Meadowlands. It was the last ride with Jim Kelly and a fun game

2014 Bears win - Freds run was amazing and with the offseason the Bills had with Ralph passing, Kelly fighting cancer, and the team for sale it was a needed boost

2019 Jets win - Insanely wild game with Allen technically having four turnovers even though two were due to his own teammates making mistakes. But coming back from 16-0 to win 17-16 on the road I think set the table for long term where this team was headed and what Josh could do.

 

Worst:

2004: Bills lose 13-10 to the Jags on the final play of the game on a rule that no longer exists and cost the Bills a playoff spot. Earnest Wilfords "TD" happen because the Bills pushed him out of bounds as he caught it never getting any feet inbounds which was an automatic catch at the time. Absolute gut punch of a loss.

2009: Bills lose 25-24 to the Pats on Monday Night Football thanks to Leodis McKelvin and that is all I need to say.

2012: Bills get blown out in NYC 48-28. This hurt in a different way as the Bills had added Mario and beefed up the defense with additions like Stephon Gilmore and Mark Anderson. Add in an offense which was pretty solid in 2011 and a weaker schedule it felt like the Bills finally would end a playoff drought and jump back into the fray. Instead they were utterly embarrassed removing any optimism out of the gate that things would change.

2016: Bills lose 13-7 in Baltimore. This is quite possibly the most boring football opener in the history of the sport as literally the only exciting play was a Mike Wallace 66 yard TD. Other then that if you like 3 and outs and punting this was your game! Factor in strong expectations for playoffs or bust and it just felt depressing

 

Best:

1991: 35-31 win over Miami - Coming off the Super Bowl loss in 25 nothing felt better then squishing the fish to open the season as the Bills roared back from a 17-7 deficit early on.

2003: 31-0 win over New England- Nothing else needs to be said this was awesome

2008: 34-10 over a Seattle team that had been in the playoffs for years. It felt at the time like we had a guy with Trent too.

2015: 27-14 over Colts - For the first game of the Rex Ryan experiment it couldn't have gone better and the place was rocking.

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1 minute ago, corta765 said:

 

Didn't the fans take down the goal posts if I am not mistaken?

 

Yes they did. It felt like we won the Super Bowl instead of going just 1-0.

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Personally, one of the worst for me was last years opener. A superbowl contending team that we hadnt gotten to see in person for 2 seasons and they laid a complete clunker. And it was personal for me living in Erie, Pa.  Right on the outskirts of "stiller" country. IMO the most self righteous fan base in all of the NFL.

 

 

That one STUNG.

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I immediately thought of the Bears game. So good on many levels. Bears were considered a SB contender and EJ was our QB but Freddy went beast mode and Kyle picked off “WhooooCares”… the funniest part was Cutler wore a Buffalo T-shirt on his tv show that week to troll the Chicago media 

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2 minutes ago, YoloinOhio said:

I immediately thought of the Bears game. So good on many levels. Bears were considered a SB contender and EJ was our QB but Freddy went beast mode and Kyle picked off “WhooooCares”… the funniest part was Cutler wore a Buffalo T-shirt on his tv show that week to troll the Chicago media 

Came here to post the Bears game.

 

Also, 2018 Ravens for worst season opener.  Peterman goes full Peterman.  47-3.

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Just now, PrimeTime101 said:

this. by far. 

 

That beatdown of the Pats 31-0 was great but beating the Dolphins after losing 20 straight tops the list. At least for the fans who suffered during that streak.

Another great opener was 1989 and beating the Dolphins in Miami 27-24. Kelly scoring the winning TD in the final seconds.

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Worst of all time, never to be defeated:

Bills vs Broncos, 2007. I was at this game.

The Broncos scrambled the field goal unit onto the field and Jason Elam kicked the game winning field goal JUST as the last second ticked off the clock, causing the Bills to lose a game they should've won.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY...Kevin Everett was paralyzed in this game. It's the most scary, horrific, deflating thing I've ever seen on a football field. All of the opening day excitement was sucked out of the crowd in an instant, replaced by a scared, hushed silence. All of the momentum and energy was sucked out of the team, as well. The loss was heartbreaking, but I didn't even care about the outcome of the game, because what we had just seen on the field with Everett made sports seem really insignificant in comparison.

I felt like the season was over after that game. The Bills would not recover. How could they? Just awful.

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8 minutes ago, Stank_Nasty said:

Personally, one of the worst for me was last years opener. A superbowl contending team that we hadnt gotten to see in person for 2 seasons and they laid a complete clunker. And it was personal for me living in Erie, Pa.  Right on the outskirts of "stiller" country. IMO the most self righteous fan base in all of the NFL.

 

That one STUNG.

 

I can 100% buy that. My youngest son was born on 9/10 and we came home that Sunday. I swear to god the only reason I didn't get upset was lack of sleep and general happiness to have our new guy. Otherwise yea incredible buzz kill with some truly awful play calls on offense and bad coaching decisions in general. I will say going into the game wayyyyy too many Bills fans thought we would cake walk to like a 30-13 win and I kept cautioning PIT was a better team then that just because of their D.

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3 minutes ago, Jauronimo said:

Came here to post the Bears game.

 

Also, 2018 Ravens for worst season opener.  Peterman goes full Peterman.  47-3.

That ravens game was brutal and it was cold and pouring rain. The next week was when Vontae Davis quit at halftime. What a time!

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10 minutes ago, Stank_Nasty said:

Personally, one of the worst for me was last years opener. A superbowl contending team that we hadnt gotten to see in person for 2 seasons and they laid a complete clunker. And it was personal for me living in Erie, Pa.  Right on the outskirts of "stiller" country. IMO the most self righteous fan base in all of the NFL.

 

 

That one STUNG.

 

It was horrible.  I was like, "I drove five hours for THIS?!?"  Horrible.

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Just now, Logic said:

Worst of all time, never to be defeated:

Bills vs Broncos, 2007. I was at this game.

The Broncos scrambled the field goal unit onto the field and Jason Elam kicked the game winning field goal JUST as the last second ticked off the clock, causing the Bills to lose a game they should've won.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY...Kevin Everett was paralyzed in this game. It's the most scary, horrific, deflating thing I've ever seen on a football field. All of the opening day excitement was sucked out of the crowd in an instant, replaced by a scared, hushed silence. All of the momentum and energy was sucked out of the team, as well. The loss was heartbreaking, but I didn't even care about the outcome of the game, because what we had just seen on the field with Everett made sports seem really insignificant in comparison.

I felt like the season was over after that game. The Bills would not recover. How could they? Just awful.

 

Oh geez that game was buried in the back of my drought memory probably for the reason you listed. I was a sophomore in college and we knew the moment the play ended it wasn't good. On broadcast I do believe they said he was stabilized at some point, but you knew it was probably uber uber bad. True miracle he lived. I 100% believe if you were there it would've been just such a drain/scary thing. When Aaron Williams got carted off in 2015 against NE week 2 it happened in front of us and you could feel the intensity leave the moment he didn't get up.

 

And yea the Broncos ending was a ball buster to the max.

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1 minute ago, Gugny said:

 

It was horrible.  I was like, "I drove five hours for THIS?!?"  Horrible.


It WAS horrible.

I'll never forget the ease with which the Steelers' front four destroyed the Bills' o-line that day.

As I walked to the car after the game, I also distinctly remember thinking "If we don't win the Super Bowl this year, our second corner spot and offensive line depth chart will be the reasons why". While I can't EXCLUSIVELY blame those things for the loss in Kansas City, they both damned sure contributed in a big way. I also felt that this loss-that-should've-been-a-win against an AFC opponent would cost us big time in terms of playoff seeding. Again, unfortunately, that line of thinking was correct.

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5 minutes ago, Gugny said:

 

It was horrible.  I was like, "I drove five hours for THIS?!?"  Horrible.

I had to shell out A LOT of f****** money back home after that game. I made a lot of "friendly" wagers... My drive is only 90 minutes.... but it was a LONG one.

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15 minutes ago, corta765 said:

 

I can 100% buy that. My youngest son was born on 9/10 and we came home that Sunday. I swear to god the only reason I didn't get upset was lack of sleep and general happiness to have our new guy. Otherwise yea incredible buzz kill with some truly awful play calls on offense and bad coaching decisions in general. I will say going into the game wayyyyy too many Bills fans thought we would cake walk to like a 30-13 win and I kept cautioning PIT was a better team then that just because of their D.

we actually got "lucky" our baby girl came 2 weeks early so we were able to leave her with my mom to go attend. her actual due date was just 3 days before the opener.... and we had reason to be confident. it was an aging team with a crap line that totally imploded down the stretch of 2020. Also i would argue the steelers were a legit bad squad last year. They were basically the football team version of weekend at bernies. Somehow stumbling their way to mediocre.  neither their offense or defense finished higher than 24th last year overall. We should have boat raced them.

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Without doubt, the 1980 opener against the hated Fish is the best and favorite.  The worst is 2005, against the Cheats.  Bills are up 17-7, get the ball in the 3Q.  4th and 1 from the Cheats 7, McGahee gets stopped short of the first down.  When asked about the play after the game, he responded "It was 4th down?"  Idiot POS.  Bills only get as far as the Cheats 48 for the rest of the game, Cheats score 12 unanswered, and we lose 19-17. 

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