Bills proclaim the sky isn't falling after a season-opening dud, looking ahead to host Raiders
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Unnerving as the Bills sloppy, turnover-filled season-opening performance appeared, safety Micah Hyde provided an assurance that the sky is actually not falling in Buffalo.
“You have to learn from it. You have to move and we’re excited about that," Hyde said. "We’re guaranteed to have another 16 games this year, so we’re not going to trip over one.”
After stumbling out of the gates with a 22-16 overtime loss to the New York Jets in an outing Josh Allen turned the ball over four times, the Bills are turning their attention to their home opener against the Las Vegas Raiders (1-0) on Sunday.
“It’s Week 1. The world is not ending,” tight end Dawson Knox said. “We’ve got a bright future ahead of us.”
How bright that immediate future is depends largely on Allen shaking off the frustrations and self-criticisms he laid out in acknowledging his reckless play cost the Bills a victory.
“I can sit here and talk about it all I want, but it’s got to be about doing it,” Allen said.
While the Bills sort out their problems, the Raiders set up shop at a resort in West Virginia in what coach Josh McDaniels hopes to serve as a team-bonding experience while also getting acclimated to the Eastern time zone.
“It’s a long season. We know we’ve got to go through a lot of battles and handle adversities,” McDaniels said. “And it’s always better to handle those things when you really appreciate and have an affection for the people that you’re doing it with.”
Las Vegas was hardly perfect in its season-opening 17-16 win at Denver in persevering through its first taste of adversity to be the only AFC West team entering Week 2 with a win in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s debut with the Raiders.
The win was the result of a complementary team effort in which the defense forced a critical three-and-out after Garoppolo hit Jakobi Meyers for a go-ahead touchdown, and then closed the game with a drive that ate up the final five minutes.
For one game, the Raiders were able to put aside the disappointment of last season in which eight of their 11 losses were decided by 7 points or less.
“With the roller coaster of a season we had last year, I think it was important for everybody to start off on the right fit, getting a win whatever that meant and however it needed to look,” receiver Davante Adams said.
Now, the Raiders are in position to open a season with two straight road wins for the first time since 1982. Last season, Las Vegas didn’t post its second win until Week 6.
WORKING VACATION The Raiders are practicing at The Greenbrier, a West Virginia resort on more than 11,000 acres that includes a training facility several NFL teams have used. What some players weren't aware of upon arrival Monday was a suit and tie dress code in the main dining room.
“Anywhere I could sneak in with what I’m wearing right here, I’ll be there,” Adams said, before turning his attention to the remote surroundings. “But I love it. It’s beautiful. It’s very green.”
That dress code didn't stop players from using their day off Tuesday to take advantage of the surrounding area, with some going fishing.
McDaniels picked the setting after previous visits with the Patriots, who practiced at the resort against Houston and New Orleans.
BIG ON BENFORD
Bills second-year cornerback Christian Benford left a big impression on his teammates for racing down the field to tackle Jets running back Breece Hall at Buffalo’s 13. Hall gained 83 yards, but the tackle prevented him from scoring a touchdown on a series that ended with the Jets settling for a field goal.
“It was obviously an unfortunate play for us, but to see someone with that much effort is awesome to see,” Hyde said. “That’s the stuff you can win with.”
The play continued solidifying the second-year player’s hold on the starting job opposite Tre’Davious White, and ahead of 2022 first-round pick Kaiir Elam, who was inactive Monday.
BACKING THE OWNER
Bills coach Sean McDermott addressed his leaders internally on Tuesday after team owner Terry Pegula was accused of making racially insensitive comments in a lawsuit filed against the NFL by former NFL Media reporter Jim Trotter.
Without revealing what he told his players, McDermott backed Pegula by saying: "In the six years now going on seven years that I’ve known Terry Pegula, that is not his character, and that’s not the man that I know.”
Pegula issued a statement calling the allegation false.
ACHING FOR AARON
Adams was heartbroken upon watching long-time former teammate Aaron Rodgers tear his left Achilles tendon in his Jets debut against the Bills.
“I let him know I’m here for him in whatever way that I can,” said Adams, who spent eight seasons with Rodgers in Green Bay.
“It’s like a horrible movie,” Adams said. “You don’t want to see the main character go down like that at all, let alone as early as what it was. I know he was excited, and I was definitely excited to see him go out there and ball out.”
AP Sports Writer Mark Anderson contributed.
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