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RIP to the Bills Dynasty. It Was Fun While it Lasted.

No matter how much you enjoy watching the Low-T reaction of the Mannings to last night's stunning finish to the Bills at Jets, or how fantastic the audio from Kevin Harlan, the undisputed best in the radio business:

... it would be downright irresponsible to say this was anything more than a hiccup for Buffalo. A speed bump along the road to their inevitable postseason success. The sort of fluke that happens to even the best of teams. As Tom Hanks' Jim Lovell character says in Apollo 13 when one of the engines cuts out during liftoff, "Well, we just had our glitch for this mission." That's what this was for the Bills. 

But then again, we all know how the rest of that mission went. Sometimes the glitch is a sign of issues that go much, much deeper. 

Still, it would be reckless, irresponsible, and frankly stupid to declare this one loss proves anything about the state of the Bills. Especially after all the success of three straight AFC East titles and a 4-5 playoff record in Sean McDermott's seven seasons in Buffalo. You would have to be an idiot to say this means the beginning of the end for them right now. Which is why I said it in January:

After waiting 20 years for the Patriots to lose Tom Brady and have to rebuild without him, they've made the playoffs four straight years and have nothing to show for it but three "AFC East Champions" hat and t-shirt combos. The kind the stores trick your grandmother who doesn't understand sports into buying for you because she thinks that's an accomplishment. Sad. 

Which begs the question as to whether the inevitable Bills Dynasty we've been hearing about for the last four years is over before it ever began. Let us count the ways.

There's the ugly way the players conducted the old "Shootout in the Lifeboat" Sunday as their frustration mounted:

The very un-dynastic mass exodus out of Highmark Stadium with tons of time left in the game:

It goes on from there, but there's no need to belabor the point. It's one thing to bump up against Kansas City or Cincinnati in the postseason and not be able to get past them. Sometimes you just have the misfortune of being very good at the same moment in history where a competitor is great. During the Napoleonic Wars, France had a damned fine navy. But as the song goes, Britannia ruled the waves. In the Late Night Wars, Letterman was funny but Leno won every ratings battle. Somewhere out there is the world's silver medalist female gymnast, but she's not Simone Biles. It happens to the second best of them. 

But it's one thing to lose in overtime at Kansas City one year and then get smoked at home by the Bengals the next. But losing to a Jets team after they suffered the big psychological titty twister of seeing their franchise quarterback lost for the season? Watching the abject failure no one wanted strap on his helmet and take over the huddle? That's not what a truly great team does. That's a sign of something much worse happening. Of an empire in decline, before they ever achieved empire status. And panic is already setting in:

Source - This was Sean McDermott’s chance to set the tone for Buffalo’s season, to dictate the terms of the game. He knew this offense needed a jolt of confidence. That’s been apparent since the divisional round loss to the Bengals when Allen and company had no answers for Cincinnati’s defense. McDermott switched up his philosophy and played the starters in the preseason. When the first preseason game didn’t go well, he played them again.

Maybe that should have been a hint that McDermott was uneasy about his offense. But here was another chance to try to get the offense’s swagger back and show faith in the team’s $258 million quarterback. Instead, McDermott opted for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. McDermott has been one of the most aggressive fourth-down coaches in the NFL over the last few seasons. …

On Monday night, instead of trusting his star quarterback to chase points or trusting his defense to make third-and-23 a nightmare for Wilson, McDermott tried to white knuckle his way to a 1-0 record.

Which happens throughout history any time a would-be dynasty fails to achieve the greatness that their leaders promised the masses. And also when the public begins to question whether said leaders can be trusted:

To put Josh Allen's recent history into context, consider this:

Is it too early to declare this Bills dynasty over before it ever truly began? Perhaps. But the way I look at it, why wait? I say get in early and avoid the rush later on. If these great Buffalo Bills of the 2020s are going down like Ozymandias, I'm not going to wait for the statue to be covered with dust in the desert to enjoy it.