The NFL Standard Was Set Last Night
It only took one game for the standard for the 2022-23 NFL season to get set. Believe it or not, it was not the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams that accomplished that feat. Their home banner ceremony at SoFi Stadium was spoiled by this year’s odds on favorite to take home the Lombardi Trophy: the Buffalo Bills. We already know that no one circles the wagons like them, but last night we learned that this season might be one in that no one runs an offense like them. Now, it might seem reactionary to say that after one game, but I assure you, it’s not. There’s a reason the Bills are the popular pick to win it all this year, and it’s because of that high powered offense, mixed with a defense that got to Matthew Stafford 7 times last night and forced 3 turnovers. There’s an argument to be made that the Rams could be the best team in the NFC again this season, and if that is indeed the case, there is a huge gap in skill level between conferences. I’ll say it again: the Bills are for real, on both sides of the ball, and they are the standard against which all other NFL teams will be measured this season.
I know what you’re thinking: “Connor, this is a Philadelphia sports website, what does this have to do with the Eagles?” Well, I’m glad you asked, inquisitive reader! It has everything to do with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bills are not in their division, or their conference, but that does not mean that we shouldn’t compare the birds with Buffalo. Whether or not the Bills actually hoist a trophy at the end of the season, they are a Super Bowl CALIBER team. That’s what we all hope the Eagles will become, and by comparing our team to theirs, we’ll be able to clearly see how far Philly has to go. Last year, when faced with some of the top teams in football (Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay again), the Eagles struggled, and so did Jalen Hurts. That has to change if Philadelphia is going to see another championship, and this year, it certainly looks like the Bills are the best bench mark for that.
I’ll admit, this is a presumptuous thought considering exactly ONE football game has been played so far this season, but great football teams just have that look to them; Buffalo has it this year. It doesn’t have to happen Week 1 against the Detroit Lions, but at some point this year, it’s paramount that the Eagles look closer to the Bills than further away in skill level. The expectations are different for those two teams, that’s for sure, but the goal is to be the best of the best. Last night, we saw what an example of that looks like. Sunday, it will be the Eagles’ first chance to see how close they are.