Sean McDermott could have meticulously dissected the intricacies of the Dolphins’ high-flying offense during the first three weeks of the 2023 season. He could have delved into the impact of Tyreek Hill’s lightning-fast speed on defensive strategies, the innovative Miami running game, or the quick release of Tua Tagovailoa’s passes. However, his and the Bills’ preparations for the most significant Miami-Buffalo clash in recent memory were far more straightforward.
“Yeah,” he chuckled during a quiet moment in his Highmark Stadium office on a Sunday afternoon, “I went to church every day after work. You can quote me on that. I went to church every day after leaving work and twice this morning.”
Their prayers, both his and the Bills’, were answered. This wasn’t about McDermott and his coaching staff conjuring up some magical game plan or delivering an impassioned speech about AFC East dominance over the past three years.
The Bills’ resounding 48–20 victory on a picturesque Sunday in Western New York was rooted in simplicity. Buffalo boasted a roster teeming with talent, a handful of elite players, and a stellar quarterback who performed at the highest level. It was a stark contrast to their collective underwhelming performance three weeks prior in New Jersey.
What unfolded against Mike McDaniel’s Dolphins in Orchard Park—a convincing win that left many stunned amid the September hype—had been evident for seven years. When adversity struck the Bills, there was no need to flip tables in the locker room, convene players-only meetings, or drastically reinvent themselves.
Buffalo simply needed to play better than they had against the Jets. Over the past three weeks and especially on that emphatic Sunday, they shattered the narratives crafted after Week 1, which ignored their history in favor of a single Monday night.
Center Mitch Morse shared his perspective from the Bills’ locker room, stating, “No, it’s that mundane. We’ve found that the more routine it is, the better it works. Finding enjoyment in the process, executing, and improving will translate to success on Sundays. We have another challenge ahead. It’s been relatively smooth sailing for the past few weeks, but we recognize this is the NFL.”
Morse emphasized that the momentum the Bills had built wouldn’t sail smoothly through the fall and into the winter without obstacles. However, their resounding victory against the Dolphins demonstrated that this battle-tested team could compete with anyone, embodying the expectations outsiders had for the 2022 Bills.
Moreover, as the first month of the season had revealed, this experienced group was better equipped than ever to weather the storms when things didn’t go as planned.
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