One more day, Bills fan. One more day.
The Bills kick off the 2017 season Sunday against the Jets. Sean McDermott is ready. The team is in remarkably good health. The weather forecast is good. All that’s left to do now is make sure your Zubaz are freshly pressed and the season can officially get underway.
Injury update: The Bills have two players ruled out for Sunday’s game, DT Jerel Worthy (concussion) and rookie LB Tanner Vallejo (knee).
News staff selections: Five of our nine pickers, including last year’s selection champ, Milt Northrop, picked the Jets to cover the 9-point spread, meaning they expect the Bills to win by eight or fewer or the Jets to win straight up.
Mark Gaughan’s Matchup Watch: Jets at Bills
Big NFL news: Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot was granted a restraining order against the NFL Friday and will be allowed to play this season, it seems.
The Bills aren’t tanking: If you watched the Sabres go through two years of tanking, I don’t know how you can see what the Bills are doing this season and think it’s the same thing. If you don’t believe me, ask Sports Illustrated.
More predictions: Vic Carucci’s bold NFL predictions including picking Tennessee’s Mike Mularkey as Coach of the Year. Here are his Week One NFL power rankings.
Tasker to miss opener: CBS analyst and former Bill Steve Tasker was set to work Sunday’s game, in which he and former teammates were going to be honored at halftime. But CBS switched Tasker to the Houston Texans’ game, their first since Hurricane Harvey.
Pump the brakes: Sure, the Patriots are in last place in the NFL at 0-1, but don’t get too far ahead of yourself, Vic Carucci wrote. Maybe they shouldn’t be hands-down Super Bowl favorites, but they’re still the best team in the division and probably in the conference.
The Patriots also got a dose of good news Friday, learning middle linebacker Dont’a Hightower’s knee injury isn’t that serious.
Did someone say beer garden? Jay Skurski’s “Inside the Bills” column this week looked into the changes coming to team’s gameday experience this year … including a beer garden in the middle of Abbott Road before games.
Virtual reality now part of Bills gameday experience
Sunday playbook: “The NFL is coming off a season marked by an historic lack of parity and seems headed for another,” Milt Northrop wrote.
What to watch Saturday: There’s plenty of good college football on Saturday. Top quarterback prospect Sam Darnold and USC play at 8:30 p.m. on FOX, while Mason Rudolph and Oklahoma State are on Fox Sports 1 at 8. UCLA’s Josh Rosen is on the Pac-12 Network at 5:15.
The Bills will reportedly have scouts watching Darnold.
NFL clubs expected to have a scout on hand for Stanford-USC:#Chargers#Colts#Giants#Bills#Cowboys
— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) September 8, 2017
Player comps: Cornerback E.J. Gaines, who was acquired in the Sammy Watkins trade, earned a starting role for the Bills’ opener. How does he compare to Ronald Darby, whose spot he’s filling? Ask and you shall receive.
How did the Bills get their name? Sports logo expert Chris Creamer offers a refresher on how the Buffalo Bills became the Buffalo Bills.
Podcast: What happened to the ball after Steve Christie hit the wining field goal in The Comeback Game?
Around the NFL: Eric Berry out for season, Dont’a Hightower avoids serious injury, trade may have saved player’s life