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Why Your Team Sucks 2019: Buffalo Bills

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Some people are fans of the Buffalo Bills. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Buffalo Bills. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Buffalo Bills.

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Your 2018 record: 6-10. The Bills’ grand plan to tear apart a team that had just gifted Buffalo its first playoff appearance this century, in order to rebuild it into a Lake Erie incarnation of the Jaguars featuring a racist QB (with occasional cameos from Nathan Peterman) came along ahead of schedule! YAY. They even finished the season 4-3, which means they could carry precious MOMENTUM over into this year. Maybe they’ll even find a way to back into the playoffs at 9-7 thanks to a Bengals win elsewhere! What a moment that would be for this city. A REBIRTH, if you will.

Listen man, all you need to know about the Bills in 2018 is that they signed Vontae Davis to a free agent deal before the season and then the man realized, right in the middle of a Week 2 game, that he didn’t feel like playing football ever again. That’s what happens to people when they arrive in Buffalo. They land at the airport, survey the frozen and windswept barrens, hear “Name” playing on a loop at the local wing joint, and instinctively want to flee. Getting as far the fuck away from Buffalo as humanly possible is a primal human need. It’s the most dominant gene of all. Also, someone took a shit in the stands…

Found your playbook

Peterman is no longer with this team and no longer free to nestle down and get all cuddly in the dog bed Sean McDermott provided for him. And yet, the lingering stench of his tenure here will remain forever. It is modern Bills lore now. You and I won’t be forgetting THIS anytime soon.

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Elsewhere, the team banned table slamming in the parking lot, which is a shame given that the tailgate is usually the only place you’ll see people in Bills colors hitting hard. Derek “Horse Balls” Anderson made a guest appearance at QB in a loss to Indy that kicked off an insane hot streak for the Colts. Matt “Not Cassel, The Other Matt” Barkley also popped up in a stunning blowout of the Jets, a win that came after a three-game losing streak where the Bills got outscored 103-20. Fuse the best part of the 2018 Bills QB room together and it would still get easily outplayed by a suddenly overweight Colin Kaepernick.

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Otherwise, this Bills season essentially served as a product launch for rookie Josh Allen, who ended the season having completed barely more than half his passes and throwing more picks than touchdowns. But he was a rookie, and his numbers were better than Peterman’s. So that’s a start. What it’s the start of is less encouraging.

Everything about last year’s Bills was the same old shitty football repackaged as a first step toward Prolonged Respectability. Plenty of other teams have sold their fans on such Process efforts, many of them doing so right this very moment. The problem, of course, is that since every other team is doing that shit, you’re just every other team now, aren’t you? You are being rebuilt to be mediocre with DIGNITY. McDermott and GM Brandon Beane are very Serious Football Men who want other Serious Football Men to notice them doing Serious Football things. McDermott will get half a dozen fluff pieces written about the “program” he’s trying to create, even when the Bills are 2-6. Meanwhile, the players get their uniforms stuck together…

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That happens when you’re leafing through a vintage copy of Penthouse while hanging out on the bench. The Bills can respect the troops and demand the world’s respect all they like. They still dropped game-winning touchdowns. They couldn’t keep Allen healthy for 16 games. They got clowned on by the refs, of all people. They got into needless brawls with the Jaguars (no Spider-Man pointing at himself meme intended). In general, they embarrassed themselves the same way they and their fans always do.

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I can’t believe this team went to the playoffs once. It’s like I’ve been huffing ether. Any dignity you see emanating from this team is strictly an illusion. Look past all their standard footballspeak about creating a CULTURE and you’ll find yet more dildos littering the field.

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Kelvin Benjamin got released. This team gave up real draft picks for that pork roast.

Your coach: Sean McDermott, who is not a retread but is quickly becoming a SPIRITUAL retread, fitting right in with the oil portraits of Dick Jauron and Mike Mularkey adorning the walls of the Pegula estate scullery. I’ve seen this happen with dudes like Scott Linehan, where they come in with a promising resume and a fairly unassuming demeanor (why, McDermott is so unassuming he wears camo to blend into any hostile terrain!), and then they turn out to be well-paid nobodies. Beneath Sean you’ll find not just one Bob Babich but TWO!

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You cannot possibly contain all these Bob Babiches. Be on the lookout for a ROB Babich to join the staff when Leslie Frazier gets shitcanned in October.

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Your quarterback: Josh Allen, who is NOT Nathan Peterman. That’s the quiet genius of giving Peterman a starting job. After that, ANY other QB is a wild improvement, even redneck JaMarcus Russell here. Nathan Peterman gives you that long of a leash. Fans will set dildos on fire in celebration if Josh Allen rises to the skill level of a lesser McCown brother.

Your backup is still Matt Barkley. USC guys named Matt are instant death.

What’s new that sucks: Impressed with Vontae Davis bailing on the Bills, Isaac Asiata signed with them as a free agent in the offseason and then retired right before camp, announcing it the only way athletes know how: by issuing a long-winded statement to Instagram in the tiniest possible font.

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Draftee Tyrel Dodson has been charged with punching his girlfriend in the face when she had the nerve to tell him he was too drunk to go out to a restaurant. Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon were added to the backfield just in case LeSean McCoy gets hurt and/or charged with sending a hired goon—possibly Dodson?—to beat up an ex-girlfriend. In a rare flash of sanity, Antonio Brown nixed a trade here because he listened to his conscience. John Brown is here to stretch defenses for half a game before they realize he can’t catch the ball. OH! OH AND HOLD ONTO YOUR SCROTES! IT’S COLE BEASLEY!

“Everybody makes a big deal about money,” he added. “I mean, money is important, but really I just wanted opportunities. I felt like I could do more.”

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You better pray he’s lying, Buffalo. I know you’ll make a folk hero out of any Welker cheek swab that walks into town, but if a man is going to Buffalo for anything other than money, he’s even more a fool than the chaw-stuffed ATV fetishists welcoming him into town.

O.J. Simpson joined Twitter.

What has always sucked: You have one playoff appearance this century. Same as the Cleveland Browns. This is where I tell you that stat won’t last long, just not for the reasons you troglodytes think. Cleveland has a future. You have Buffalo. I feel tired and cold.

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Every year we get more letters from Bills fan than from pretty much every other team, and the tone of them all is uniform. These people are ready to slowly poison themselves with Genny Cream in the parking lot and tattoo #BillsMafia on their dicks, all to burn out the clock on an inevitably fruitless season and an even more inevitably fruitless existence. They know their shit is getting old. We’ve posted enough videos of these people setting fire to Malibu rum shots to last a lifetime. Eventually, the adrenaline wears off and you realize that you’re just trying to numb your soul.

Watching the Bills every year is like bearing witness to an isolated tribe living in the Aleutian island chain, where kids trek to school in snowshoes and their parents swill paint thinner while carving tally marks into a nearby wooden plank with a bowie knife to count down the days until it’s time to reconvene with the Lord. The Bills are a portrait of despair. I don’t even like thinking about them. I was in coma for two weeks last winter and the nicest thing about it was that I never once thought of the Bills. Now I’m alive again and just the IDEA of the Bills still existing makes me yearn to be eaten by a frost bear and sent back into the great blackness, where all is quiet and Cole Beasley doesn’t exist.

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What might not suck: Well look, you beat the tar out of MY team last season, so I’m one to talk shit.

Also, it would be cool if Terry Pegula dressed up as a long wooden dowel with blood-stained fangs. SPOOOOOOOOKY.

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HEAR IT FROM BILLS FANS!

Matt:

We’ve had more people fall from the top deck at the stadium than wins in the playoffs over the last 16 years.

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Steve:

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Justin:

On the Sunday morning before we played the Titans, I was 12 days away from running my first marathon and had completed a 13-mile run the night before. Best shape of my life. I got ready for the game like I always do, by putting on my hastily purchased Sammy Watkins jersey, my Buffalo New Era hat, and dancing to the Bills Make Me Wanna Shout while checking out my sexiness in the mirror. I promptly strained my calf muscle and collapsed on the floor and couldn’t jog for 3 months. Fuck Sammy Watkins, and fuck this team for immediately sucking shit after breaking their absurdly long playoff drought.

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Matthew:

Do you know what my very first NFL memory is? Scott fucking Norwood.

Ben:

I still don’t feel safe from Nathan Peterman.

Josh:

I thought their QB’s name was Josh Darnold.

Chris:

I’m a Bills fan, my best friend is a Patriots fan, and we stopped talking football ten years ago.

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Adam:

Fuck Sean McDermott’s phony, psalm-spewing, flag-humping, troop-sniffing, Ron Howard-looking ass. All of his ginger mean mugs and aggressive clapping do not impress Bill Belichick.

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Samer:

Every white athlete named josh has probably said the n-word.

Arlo:

I’m convinced the Bills drafted Josh Allen not in spite of his racist tweets, but because of them.

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Malik:

I am pinning my hopes on yet another QB with accuracy issues.

Kyle:

Another year of McDermott needing to “check the tape” to explain Allen’s 10 for 22 for 143 yards, and him using the phrase “at the end of the day” at least 21 times during the press conference.

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Joanna:

The only other team my husband seriously roots for are the Mets and even they don’t elicit the same kind of response. Poor guy.

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Alex:

They made a Nathan Peterman hype video.

Nathan (not Peterman):

May Orchard Park slide into Lake Ontario.

Brian:

We now treat all fall Sundays like The Purge. Nobody leaves the house or even plays in the front yard from 10 AM until the next day.

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Taylor:

Every time Terry opens his mouth, it sounds like he’s never spoken before. The worst example was after he bought the Bills, he either made a terrible joke or embarrassing gaffe when he called Buffalo’s African-American mayor Byron Brown “Byron Black.”

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Doktor Jones:

Orchard Park must have the shallowest gene pool in America. It is Canada’s Toilet.

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Roy:

This city’s obsession with Josh Allen is unreal. I have heard too many comparisons between Allen and Jim Kelly to stomach.

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Margo:

The best part of every Super Bowl is the knowledge that we aren’t there to screw it up again. I dread going back as much as I want to relive it.

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Connor:

YES, I have a Kiko Alonso Bills jersey. And NO, I did not suck a dick to get it. I paid $120 plus tax (more in Canadian money) at the stadium store like a normal degenerate Bills fan. I still occasionally get mocked for it, and people reference the blowjob thing all the time, but I still wear that Jersey all the time because I’m too cheap to get a new one and all our best players don’t stick around for more than a couple of years.

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Travis:

I literally couldn’t think of a single thing I hated or liked about this team. I almost forgot they even played last year. Wait... did they?

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Michael:

Growing up, I never knew why anyone would have a Super Bowl party. I didn’t realize that some people actually got to celebrate.

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Chris:

A few years ago at work, two of my colleagues were talking about what was going on in the NFL. I tried to casually join the conversation, but one of them (a Bengals fan) said “You’re a Bills fan, what do you know about football?”

I didn’t have any comeback and I walked away. What an absolutely pathetic team.

Eric:

Strap this entire franchise to a rocket and fire it into the sun.

Joe:

This is the one organization that would visit Trump in the White House if they went 7-9 and would personally bring Buffalo Wild Wings to the White House fast food table.

Terry Pegula is basically what Ralph Wiggum would be as an adult.

Ben:

Zay Jones got naked and fucked up a hotel and they called for his head. If Josh Allen did that he’d be a fucking rock star. Shit, Jim Kelly DID do that and he could STILL win the mayor’s office with essentially no effort. Our coach looks like the ideal customer that Bass Pro Shop’s copywriting team has pinned to their cubicle walls.

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Rick:

Josh’s arm is slightly less accurate than a North Korean ballistic missile. He’ll be our poor man’s RGIII, always on the sideline in crutches or a walking boot, full of unfulfilled potential. It’s like the school valedictorian that gets paralyzed by a drunk driver the summer before starting medical school, except the Bills are the drunk driver.

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Casey:

We hired Brian Gaine. The Texans fired Gaine after one season because he was a racist cunt who was sued for said racism. Imagine how big of a racist you have to be for the HOUSTON TEXANS to fire you? I can’t wait to hear all of the broadcasters tell the same old story about their MAGA QB learning to throw hard by throwing rocks at dumpsters as a child. Fuck the Bills.

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Nicholas:

What’s so humiliating to me, and what gives me second hand embarrassment for the entire organization, fanbase, and region, is the post-draft press conference that these poor young men are subject to. You ask the same embarrassing question every single year, you absolute joke of a local media. You all know the question I’m talking about.

Why must you ask every single young man who is drafted if they are overjoyed and happy as humanly possible to be here? Don’t you realize how insecure it makes us all look that you beg them to swear fealty and admit that it was their life’s goal to be here when they’ve only been here twenty-five minutes? And haven’t you ever considered that maybe they’re not so thrilled to be here, because it’s not Honolulu?

Why force these unfortunate young men who are probably already depressed about having to come here into this stupid charade where they have to act like it’s their dream? Every year, I sit there dreading the question, hoping that this is the year it won’t be asked, and every year, the stupid media come out and betray this region’s massive Napoleon Complex by forcing the draftees to lie and say that they had nightly wet dreams throughout their college careers about playing for the Buffalo Bills.

If you’re really cool, you don’t need other people to tell you that you’re cool.

Ryan:

I live 15 miles from the Bills’ stadium, New Era Field.

However, to get to a game is a nightmare – as I live in Fort Erie, Ontario. To get any decent tailgating in, I have to leave at 4-5am, and get in a two-hour line just to cross an international border at the Peace Bridge over the Niagara River. If I’m lucky, I’ll get through the border with no issues – if I’m not lucky, I’ll get sent into secondary inspection, where depending on how much inspection they want to do, I either get put in a room with ESPN on while I wait, or I get handcuffed to a steel bar in a room of people trying to sneak in the U.S. from Canada (why?) while Border Patrol and ICE agents go through my tiny Honda Fit with a drug sniffing dog.

Once I get to the tailgate, there is always another Buffalo Bills Mafia member who can’t believe I drive “all the way from Canada” for the games, even though I live closer to the stadium then someone from North Tonawanda or Depew.

The rest of the game day experience is “normal.” The only thing that sucks now is I have to have tickets on my smartphone instead of paper tickets, and with the new policy, I have to pay international roaming charges on my cell phone to use my ticket. Add that on top of various ticket fees, taxes, and exchange rates, my ticket ends up costing almost double face value.

After the game, it’s gridlock all the way out of the stadium to the border. The most interesting part is all the drunken Canadian Bills fans stuck on the Peace Bridge border crossing in cars – and they all need to empty their bladders or barf up their day at the football game. There is no shame here – adults and children of all ages with JP Losman, Trent Edwards, and Fred Jackson jerseys think that it is acceptable to exit their cars on a large bridge to urinate, defecate, or vomit on a bridge between two international customs checkpoints. I assume some wait until they reach the plaque denoting the line between the United States and Canada to try and do it in two countries at one time.

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Shawn:

The most cheritable assessment I can make for the most generous town in the world is that the City of Buffalo, New York is a uniquely absurd paradox wrapped voluntarily in a fascinating albeit asinine contradiction creating a colorful, self-defeating mobius strip of charmingly illogical bullshit.

To illustrate it best Buffalo has invented the greatest culinary masterpiece ever devised by mankind, the pinnacle of gastrometric science, the stupendous and otherwordly dish fit for gods, the chicken finger sub. It’s just what it sounds like, dripping in radioactive glowing orange Buffalo sauce, served with curly fries and paired with a deliciously bizarre purple nectar beverage squashed from berries grown only by your spinster aunt that lives in the Outer Limits and always gets the best weed. Fuck wings. When the aliens come this is what I’ll offer them first as the most prime example of Homo sapien intellectual capacity and the sum total of human progress realized on a toasted bun, creating a civilization defining innovation so monumentally righteous it may stand alone as the only bullet point necessary on the resume of Planet Earth.

Yet Buffalo refuses to export the One Recipe like it’s a state secret thereby denying the world and itself of its very own long sought McGuffin: recognition from the world for actually doing something cool for once. But the real mystery to this widget, the true enigma to bifurcate your spleen around, is that after all this Buffalo ex-pats still have the nerve to bitch with sincerity to other cities when they move away seeking greener pastures that they can’t find a good sub anywhere, just acres and acres of horseshit. Sweet fucking baby Jesus, man! That sort of mental architecture would make the ghosts of M.C. Escher and Buckminster Fuller cream themselves with delight.

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Ryan:

The Bills suck because we, as a fan base, get talked into believing every year that THIS IS THE YEAR. The Bills have finally fired or cut whatever yahoo was the biggest issue of the past year (TO, or Richie Incognito, Mario Williams, or Tyrod) or hired whoever the hottest coaching commodity is available for this year (Hello Rex Ryan. And Rob Ryan. And Dick Jauron. And Doug Marrone. And Greg Williams. Or Doug Whaley, who’s currently slinging garbage plates in Rochester). And we got the whole team on the same page and goddamn they look good against Jon Arbuckle or whoever starts at QB for the Dolphins in week 1 of the pre-season.

And guess goddamn what? It doesn’t matter.

Fuck the chicken wing debate. Eat them with ranch if you want or bleu cheese or fucking granola if you want. It doesn’t matter if your 299 or 305 lbs when you get slammed through the white plastic table after your buddy drinks 15 Labatt’s. It’s still gonna hurt like hell and you’ll black out before the game starts and won’t remember any of it and that’s good AND I’M SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE.

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Bill:

Been going to games since I was a lad. My most vivid memory is standing at a bathroom trough next to a LARGE drunk man who fell over while pissing, spraying both legs of my jeans on his way down. It was A LOT, and it was that real odorous beer piss. Either the team’s pissing on me or the fans are, but on this night I got to feel both. Fuck ‘em all.

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Blair:

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall aka here is a GIF of my buddy in a hornless unicorn mask doing the Flying Bojack into a folding table and obliterating his coccyx. He now (proudly?) sits on a donut pillow.

Matt:

There’s the troop humping coach who speaks in nothing but platitudes, the dumbass GM who drones about needing players for the weather despite the fact 3/4 of the season is played in mild fall temps especially when Buffalo turns into the climate change Riviera. There’s the dumbass QB who can’t stop pandering to fans in hopes that they forget he sucks shit and will welcome him into a sports radio gig when he washes out in three years. There’s the owner so terrified of MAGA chud blowback he’s turned his team into a proxy for Cloyd Rivers wannabes and Franklin Graham followers. They’re a run-first team in 2019 with two guys that are 472 in running back years.

There’s the fans, my god. I’ve lived away from WNY for five years now and the erosion of reason and self-awareness has been disturbing and sad. The same arguments these people used to run Tyrod Taylor out of town after taking them to the playoffs are being dismissed as inapplicable to Josh Allen. Running? When it was the black guy it was failure to follow the playbook, it was selfish, it was being afraid to make things happen with his arm. With Allen it’s creative, it’s being a gamer, it’s sacrificing one’s self for the team. Interceptions? Tyrod’s lack of them meant he never took a shot, was timid and played scared. Allen’s just trying to make something happen and after all it’s his receivers’ fault! Completion percentage? Taylor was too erratic, too inconsistent. With Allen it means you didn’t watch the game… those damn receivers and O-line hang him out to dry!

There are people still gainfully employed in Buffalo sports media who posted gifs of Nathan Peterman as evidence that he could do things Tyrod Taylor couldn’t. Josh Allen then lost a quarterback competition to Nathan Peterman fair and square.

The team went from 9-7 and 6-10 and folks are thrilled because the aggro dumbass talking about culture and the tall idiot who can’t throw are the ones in charge. They somehow think they’re on the precipice of greatness because they signed mindless scrubs that won’t rock the boat instead of getting talented players who are remotely interesting. These are people who’ve never left the area and think that the entire country has it out for them because they remember lame Carson monologues from 30 years ago.

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Trent:

Let’s just say my lifetime Bills fandom has led to little problems with rampant alcoholism, dangerous obesity, sharting my pants in Monday morning staff meetings, and more threats of divorce than I can count (don’t remember most of ‘em!). But maybe the most severe impact is that it has turned me into a Patriot/Boston hater with the passion of a deranged meth head uncle. I’ve cut off old friendships with people from Boston, made up excuses to not visit my wife’s family in Rhode Island, forbade my kid’s pre-school teacher from singing Sweet Caroline, prayed for October mid-air collisions between the Sox and Pats team planes, and have a lifelong sworn oath to run Brady over if I see him walking down the street. I am a mentally unstable and wildly unhealthy person that despises an entire region of this country and it all comes back to a division rivalry that has gone horribly, horribly wrong. That was me eating ass in the parking lot. Go Bills!

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Rob:

I wanted to write to tell you that I am a Pegula truther: This fracking billionaire is going to sell this team from under us. They currently have no plans to exploit the New York State tax base to build a new stadium. Why? It is so they can sell this team to the highest bidder with $76 million in cap space for 2019.

I want this to be true. This way I won’t have to root for the Bills anymore. This came to me as I sat in the rain at M&T Bank stadium for three hours on Sunday, watching us make Joe Flacco look elite.

We are all of the racism of Boston with none of the success.

Submissions for the NFL previews are closed. Next up: Denver Broncos.

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About the author

Drew Magary

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.