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I wrote two weeks ago how these Buffalo Bills had the chance to grab this town by the hand and run with it. With a good showing vs New England we wouldn't be saying "Same old Bills". Well I think the Bills accomplished that goal. It just feels different around here. I remember thinking to myself last week how much I've allowed myself to believe in the false hope.
I believed Ryan Fitzpatrick could lead this team, same with JP Losman and Trent Edwards. But the reality is if you're not a great quarterback, your chances of winning are terrible. Of the Super Bowl-winning non Hall of Fame quarterbacks none of them won 2 Super Bowls. Yes, arguments can be made that some quarterbacks belong in the Hall of Fame (Stabler, Plunkett, Theismann, Simms).
As we approach the 50th Super Bowl, do you realize about 75 percent of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks go on to the Hall of Fame? What does this all mean? It means that Fitz Trent and JP were never going to lead us there, but it sure feels like EJ Manuel can.
Sitting in my seat on Sunday, I have a good group of season ticket holders around me that I've known for the last few years. One guy in front of me who is about my age, has gone through all the same heart aches as me ( I'm 29 for the record).
Once Carolina kicked the field goal to go up 23-17, he said "Just once in my lifetime I want to win one of these games." My response was "Unless you're going to die in the next 5 minutes we're about to."
Something about EJ just feels different. He loves football, he loves this town. On the Fred Jackson show on Monday night he referred to Buffalo as Our City.
He's one of us now.
He wants to be here.
And he just might want to win more than any single athlete to play in the city since Jim Kelly. The difference between him and us is he hates to lose, and we've grown accustom to it. He cried when he completed the TD pass to Stevie Johnson, he wears his emotions on his sleeve.
This isn't just another quarterback hanging onto a job while hoping to make a mark. This is a quarterback who wants to be the gold standard in this town. 20 years from now he doesn't want us to be looking for the next Jim Kelly, he wants us to do better. He wants us to find the next EJ Manuel.