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Sean Kirst: After MLB games and a Buffalo governor, could Super Bowl be next improbable event?

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This is not a scenario anyone would have bought into even two years ago: Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws out the first pitch at a big-league game at Sahlen Field.


Born in Dunkirk, a son, grandson and great-grandson of Buffalonians, I've been an Upstate journalist for 47 years. As a kid, I learned quiet lives are often monumental. I still try to honor that simple lesson, as a columnist.


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Bartel Miller was ready. I called him the other day, because I had a strong feeling he might share a certain spiritual wonder about the Buffalo Bills opener and impending season built upon, well, to offer an example, quarterback Josh Allen throwing out the first pitch in June at a big-league game.

In downtown Buffalo.

Seriously. Even now, just kind of roll that one around. It might not seem important if you are the kind of person who can look at the Bills clinically and logically, drawing the utterly reasonable conclusion that a few years of stable and committed direction under General Manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott – meshed with strong on-field discipline and leadership from this particular mix of players – has finally resulted in a team that seems capable of a Super Bowl run.

. . .

Mark Gaughan explains why this Pittsburgh Steelers offense is a different animal than what the Buffalo Bills faced in 2020. Pittsburgh drafted a running back, Najee Harris, to jump-start what was a dismal ground game. New offensive coordinator Matt Canada is going to employ his trademark shifts and jet motions.

Gaughan notes that facing this is nothing new for the Bills – they saw a lot of it last season against the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers – but that communication is at a premium. The offense's pre-snap movements can create an advantage for the Steelers, if the Bills are not adjusting and reacting properly.

. . .

PlayAction is new to The Buffalo News' extensive NFL coverage. Each week, Mark Gaughan, who has covered the league throughout his 38 years at The News, distills X's and O's and strategy relating to how the Bills match up with their next opponent. All in about two minutes.

The other perspective – which I suspect I share with hundreds of thousands of others – is to view the Bills in the swirling,........

© The Buffalo News

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