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The Bills are kicking ass and will continue to take names

After beating one AFC Super Bowl favorite last week, the Bills will face off against another one, the Patriots, this week. Is it too early to buy into the hype coming out of Buffalo?

Tyrod Taylor said that he never got a diamond-studded mouthpiece despite a TMZ report saying he had purchased one to celebrate being named the Bills' starting quarterback. The story was absurd. It was also believable for the starting quarterback of a Rex Ryan team whose starters include Percy Harvin and Richie Incognito.

What the hell did anyone know about Taylor, anyway? To that point he had appeared in 14 career games, none of them starts or anything worth mentioning, really. When he threw for 195 yards against the Indianapolis Colts, he nearly doubled his career total.

The TMZ story was the sort you'd want to believe without any follow-up. Considering that the other guys in the quarterback battle were EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel, of course Ryan would choose the guy with some joie de vivre left, if only to feel something.

Taylor doesn't appear to be the diamond mouthpiece type -- he and his family were reportedly offended that anyone would suggest that he was, and in any case he never even wears a regular mouthpiece -- but he doesn't need to be. An efficient 14-for-19 passing for 195 yards and one touchdown to beat the Colts, a team presumed to be making a Super Bowl push, is more than enough to create attention.

With a motley offense compiled by a motley coach, it was easy to write off the Bills as a freak show with a good defense. After one week, we all know better.

What the hell is a Tyrod Taylor?

Until last Sunday, he was a sturdy backup for the Baltimore Ravens. During that time, he had completed one pass of at least 25 yards in 35 attempts. This weekend he made completions of 27 and 51 yards against the Colts, the latter a stunning touchdown throw to Percy Harvin. He had mostly relied on his legs, but he never made a play as big as his 31-yard run near the end of the first half that led to a touchdown and 17-0 intermission lead in Buffalo.

So given that this is all new to Taylor, too, the answer to the question is yet unknown. At the very least, his floor appears to be high, which is a big deal for a team that ranked in the middle of the league with 23 turnovers last season as the league's seventh-least efficient offense per DVOA.

At his best, Taylor appears to have the potential to facilitate the explosive elements in the Bills' offense -- Harvin and rookie back Karlos Williams, for example, if not the conspicuously quiet LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins. The biggest question facing the Bills before the opener wasn't whether the offense had talent, but if it could come together. Taylor could be the uniting force.

SB Nation presents: Plenty of reasons to love the Bills and Rex Ryan

The Bills are "built"

For better or worse, perhaps. The Bills haven't been a popular selection in playoff projections and that makes sense given they didn't make the playoffs last season, either. They were a tick above .500, however, and on paper there's no reason that this isn't better team than the one that went 9-7 last season.

The biggest concerns on offense -- quarterback and the offensive line -- held well against the Colts. The defense played spectacularly, holding a revamped running game to 64 yards and Andrew Luck to 5 yards per attempt with two interceptions.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley caught some flak for saying of his team, "it's built and it's time," before getting throttled by the Carolina Panthers. Bradley statement was premature because even before kickoff it was easy to see youth everywhere.

The Bills, however, are built, and it is their time. They've been making moves like a team trying to win now for several seasons, getting an unbelievably talented defensive line locked down on rich contracts, signing several short-window contributors like McCoy, Harvin and Incognito, and mortgaging an entire draft for a player they felt was a generational talent in Watkins.

The wisdom of some of those moves can be questioned, but there was a tremendous amount of faith behind them. Then to bring on Ryan, who won instantly with the New York Jets, and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who quickly engineered a running game in San Francisco, laid bare Buffalo's plans. The Bills wanted talent and they wanted an identity, so they swept the shelves clean.


Yes, this is premature, and of course this team could implode like the only other Rex Ryan Project ultimately did. But how else can one experience these Bills, except with irrational exuberance? The foundation of the team has been irrational exuberance since even before Ryan came aboard. He simply confirmed the culture.

It could all fall apart as early as this weekend against what is still a great Patriots team, but then again Ryan's nervy "this is it" mentality could be all the thrust the Bills need. Ryan has always given himself a thin margin for failure, and he has assembled a team that's just as desperate. Taylor himself likely won't have another shot to make himself into a long-term NFL starter. If it isn't this season, he could again fade into the obscurity of backup quarterback-dom.

The Bills made a conscious decision to use adrenaline as its fuel. That's why Ryan trash talks the Pats at every opportunity -- his team needs it. It swaggers because its life depends on it. Even if Taylor isn't wearing a diamond mouthpiece, he may as well be.