As the Bills 2022 NFL season has come to a close, there will be plenty of opportunity for reflection and putting things under the microscope.
and while the team will look for ways to improve for different results and more success in 2023, they might also find something else… Pride.
Von Miller did.
“It was so many different things that made me feel proud to be a Buffalo Bill and made me feel proud to be a part of this community,” Miller said to the press this week. “So this adversity that was presented, I’ve always been a fan of adversity, reveals character and we have some high character guys in this locker room. Not only in a locker room, but in the front office in this community. And it’s just an honor and a privilege to be associated with the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park and the city of Buffalo.”
The Bills season concluded in an underwhelming loss to a now AFC Championship game-bound Cincy squad on Sunday in Orchard Park, which certainly was not the ending the team and its fans wanted.
While the team fell short of their goal of a Super Bowl win this season, there is a silver lining. They overcame a lot and turned in a solid outcome despite adversities and obstacles.
The tragic loss of tight end Dawson Knox’s brother,
More instances followed, such as the off-field matters that resulted in the loss of a player and sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft meant to be a long-term game-impacting special teams solution, the team playing three road games in 12 days, plus having one of their home games relocated one week, and getting stuck in Chicago on Christmas Eve during another, both due to weather. Not to mention challenges presented by issues with playcalling and overall performance.
And then there were injuries.
The team was already without star corner Tre White for about half the season but also saw an elbow injury hinder QB Josh Allen up until their final two games. And then there were the season-ending injuries to defensive staple and NFL star safety Micah Hyde, as well as fellow league-wide star and the Bills’ big free-agency acquisition, OLB Von Miller.
And of course, the near-fatal heart attack on the field for Damar Hamlin that required game cancellation and multiple resuscitations after a square hit.
None of that was lost on Hyde, who echoed Miller’s sentiments as well.
“The weather issues, the injuries, just a lot of things that happened this year and to see these guys really keep fighting, keep coming to work, keep being positive, keep getting up in the morning, which is hard to do when the weather’s bad, it’s snowing,” the Bills safety said. “To see all that, I learned a lot about my teammates and I’m very, very proud of the players, the coaches, this organization.”
While each injury brought some bitter taste to a season that fell short of the sweetness a Super Bowl victory would have, there is still a silver lining.
Most professional sports teams do not face nearly as many adversities in a season.
Not to mention, most sports franchises haven’t been to and lost four consecutive championship games in the past, nor were many a Super Bowl favorite this year. But the Bills were.
And through it all, they endured and overcame to finish with a 13-3 record in the regular season, winning the AFC East for the third consecutive year and then advancing to the second round of the playoffs.
It won’t be enough for a team with championship aspirations but still speaks to how Buffalo battled throughout the season.
“There are no moral victories,” Miller added. “But when you look at what this team went through, what this community went through … the resiliency … that’s what stands out … I feel honored and privileged to be associated with the Buffalo Bills.”
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