At first New England Patriot fans suspected that their team had caught a bad virus from the Red Sox. The first half against the Bills looked putrid.
Welker and Gronkowski fumbled and dropped catches. Gostkowsky missed a couple of field goals, and as the second half was about to start, Tom Brady was running up and down the sidelines, asking: "Where's my helmet? Where's my helmet?"
Losing badly as the second half began, we almost wondered whether two successful franchises were going to collapse in one bridge year.
Fortunately for the Patriots, a bunch of young players who seemed nameless found their names: Bouldin, Ridley, Jones, and Hightower, have found identities. Unlike Doc Rivers, Belichick is playing his youngsters.
During the second half, only Wes Welker sat next to Tom Brady, and Josh McDaniels kept a respectful distance.
When Brandon Lloyd made a phenomenal catch, only their face guards prevented Tom Brady from planting a big wet one on the new 85.
At a time when Boston baseball fans were reaching for the hemlock, the turnabout of the Patriots in Buffalo restored order to the universe. It meant the radiation from the supernova was heading in another direction to spare Planet New England instant annihilation.
If the Pats had lost this game, fans would have been bereft, turning to the Boston Celtics for hope and salvation.
Alas, the Celtics are heading off to Europe this week where they will get to know each other out of the eyesight of fans. As Paul Pierce told reporters, they will hug each other and go on dates to become familiar the new guys.
The Patriots just won and turned a bad stretch into hope and possible glory. TMZ? Terez Owens? The Enquirer? The Spoof? The Pats don't need them just yet. We aren't so sure about the Celtics.