OK, I admit it: I was surprised the Denver Broncos were only favored by three points.
They came into New Era Field riding the wave of a 2-0 start and Trevor Siemian’s league-leading six passing touchdowns. The Bills, meanwhile, were clearly a work in progress, evidenced by their erratic showing last week in Carolina.
The Bills were supposed to struggle on Sunday, they were supposed to be overwhelmed and overmatched by Denver’s suffocating defense. But instead, with the final minutes winding down, it was Sean McDermott’s team that held the lead and control of the game.
And in the midst of it all, was Stephen Hauschka.
The Bills kicker connected on four field goals — from 49, 55, 53 and 27 yards — to pace the team to a 26-16 win and a surprising 2-1 record. Hauschka also nailed both of his PATs to cap his perfect afternoon.
The 32-year-old became the first Bills kicker to hit two 53-plus yard field goals in the same game.
Hauschka also created waves this week when he voiced concerns about the state of the country and social issues affecting many Americans.
During my interview, he stressed the importance of eradicating racial inequality and the need for more white people and players to join the conversation on race.
His comments appeared in my Friday column — a day before President Donald Trump took aim at the NFL and its players protesting racial inequality, oppression, police brutality and social-justice reform. Several football fans responded to Hauschka’s words with venom, disdain and ridicule. Some chose to respond by saying, simply: “Stick to kicking it through the uprights.”
Well, Hauschka did just that.
During our conversation, he had made it clear that his primary objective is to be at his best on the football field.
And on Sunday, he did that too.