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Voice of the Fan: Have we been sold a Bill of goods?


The term “sell a bill of goods” means, of course, getting a fraudulent deal, whose etymology apparently comes from the 1920s, which also seems like the last time the team was without controversy.

Even during the Super Bowl years, many were arguing the Bills were the worst best team ever, like we got a participation trophy for playing in four straight.

Last Sunday, our bill of goods seemed to come from the sellout Bills at sold-out New Era Field, where the homeboys got tased by the visiting Chargers.

This week, embattled left guard Vlad Ducasse was listed as the top pass blocker in the league so far in two games by Pro Football Focus’ analytics guys.

It led me to believe that his teammates were so bad at pass blocking, even though he was getting consistently overpowered and pushed back, other Bills offensive line opponents were already on top of Josh Allen, so Vlad wasn’t credited with any sacks or hurries against. The best of the worst.

Vontae Davis, of course, sold not only us, but his teammates, a Bill of goods. Davis quit on the game, team, fans, sport and his livelihood at halftime. We don’t need to belabor that point, as everything has been said already.

Just Don’t Do It, Vontae. Quit after the game, sell out. Not right after Phillip Rivers surgically dissected you and your ex-mates.

And then it was announced that the Bills are getting most of their money back. Our bill of sale got a refund.

The rest of the beleaguered Bills didn’t quit at halftime. In fact, they made a competitive and nearly compelling game of it.

Coach Sean McDermott took over the defensive play-calling right when we fans were defensive player name-calling, and it worked dramatically. Four straight TD drives turned into several straight stonewalls, and the Bills outscored the Chargers 14-3 in the second half.

McDermott should surely keep this defensive play-calling up, if only to keep him away from the offense, in-game decisions, challenges and clock management, which maybe he should hand over to Leslie Frazier.

One Bills player who did not sell us a Bill of goods is rookie franchise QB2B, Josh Allen.

If you went into the game, the highlights and lowlights, the All-22s, etc., looking to like or love Josh Allen there was much to like and love. If you went in looking to criticize, there was much to dislike and despise.

You know – what one would expect from a raw rookie, playing his first start, against a tough, well-coached veteran defense, with a suspect offensive line, one real NFL receiver, and a defense that couldn’t stop anyone or get good field position.

Personally, I like Josh a lot, so I liked what I saw a lot. Sure, he made numerous mistakes and one bonehead play. But the wow factor and it factor were both factors in his coming out performance.

What he has you can’t teach, and most if not all of what he doesn’t, you can.

Unless you are one of those “you cannot teach accuracy” fanatics who don’t really know what you are looking at.

The second game of the season, like any very good live or televised drama, raised more questions for its audience than it answered. That’s what keeps us hooked on this game, team, franchise and melodrama.

Were we sold a Bill of goods on Tremaine Edmunds? He looked like he was auditioning for the revival of "Lost."

Were we sold a Bill of goods on Star Lotulelei? He looked like the fat guy on "Lost."

Actually, Lotulelei's no-stat-line alarmed many, but he has played his role to an overstuffed extent. We could use more of a push in the pass game to stop opposing QBs from stepping up in the pocket so easily, but he has been eating up space and blockers as advertised.

This week, the Bills travel to Norway where they will face the angry Vikings, which will be a whale of a task. There hasn’t been a point spread this high in ice ages.

The Bills are banged up as a team, beaten up by the local, national and social media, and fed up being told they aren’t any good.

The answer to have we fans been sold a Bill of goods for another season may be answered this Sunday.

I am a buyer, not a seller. We may not win but just when you think this team has sold out, they often surprise.

Their substantial pride is hurt, and they may win us over with their heart. Keep the game close and maybe even eek out a V.

For Victory, not Vikings.

Give us the goods, Bills.

Pete Rosen is a screenwriter in Los Angeles, lifetime Buffalo fan, and may be found blathering daily at

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