Late night discussion: Memorable season openers

September 4, 2019

Louie DiBiase
Twitter: @DiBiaseLOE


The Buffalo Bills' season opener is always one of the most exciting days around Western New York. A new sense of hope and optimism fill the air (and the timeline) as the kickoff represents a fresh start at 0-0. 

Throughout the history of the franchise, there have been some memorable Week 1 moments. 

What are the season openers that are held nearest and dearest to the hearts of Bills fans? 

Fans on Twitter shared their favorite memories of the first football Sunday during Tuesday's late night discussion:

Late night discussion: What is the #Bills season opener that is most near and dear to your heart?

— WGR 550 (@WGR550) September 4, 2019


The blowout:

The New England Patriots have had the Bills' number for roughly two decades now. It is hard to find a team have more success against a division opponent that the Patriots have had against Buffalo. 

At least for one September day in 2003, that all changed. 

This one was pretty good too.

— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) September 4, 2019

#Bills thumping Patriots 31-0 in ‘03

— Robert Janish, Jr. (@robertjanish) September 4, 2019

Easy easy.....2003 New England....

— Mike (@Mike23656644) September 4, 2019

Not only did the Bills beat the Patriots, they blew them out 31-0. To add insult to injury, 340-pound defensive tackle Sam Adams had a famous interception returned for a touchdown. 

Video of 2003 Bills vs Patriots NFL Primetime Highlights

Makes sense this was the most popular choice throughout the discussion. 


Recent openers:

Although the 21st century has not been good to the Bills from a win-loss standpoint, many fans had fond memories of Week 1 throughout the 2000s. 

2011 against Kansas City 41-7 mostly because I didn’t see that coming at all

— Dom Rettberg (@DomRettberg2) September 4, 2019

You gotta love a good Fitzmagic game, right? 

First MNF game of 2009-10 season, @bills almost beat @Patriots until McKelvin, fumbled the ball! --------

— Tyler Berns---- (@bernstyler22) September 4, 2019

Thanks for that, Tyler......

Having opening day fall on 9/11 (albeit four years removed from the event) held a lot of emotions. Plus, huge W, as I also was a massive Losman supporter, he looked very solid in that game...

— Nick Spoljaric (@SpodaddyJr) September 4, 2019

At least for one day, J.P. Losman had the hearts of Bills fans. 

2013 vs Patriots. Yeah, Bill's lost, but it was my sons first game and first lessons on fandom.
Lesson 1: We hate the Patriots.
Lesson 2: Tom Brady sucks.

— Brian Perkins (@bperk3) September 4, 2019

Awesome to see a personal memory remembered fondly despite the loss. This was also E.J. Manuel's debut and, much like Losman, he had Bills fans believing. Manuel threw for two touchdowns and completed 66% of his passes.

2000 over Tennessee in the revenge game after home job throw forward - Night game after 13 hours of the first annual #TwoBillsDrive Home Opener Tailgate at #HammersLot

— Jacob Rosen (@KiltedBillsFan) September 4, 2019

Revenge game.


Vintage openers:

Opening Day 1980. The end of the Dullfin streak... We stormed the field!

— Bill Millidge (@millidgeb) September 4, 2019

Hands down 1980.

— Sportsman 1966 (@ArdelioValdes) September 4, 2019

Ah yes the game where fans pulled down the goal posts. Buffalo hadn't defeated the Miami Dolphins in a game for over 10 years until Week 1 of the 1980 season. The Bills won the game 17-7, overcoming Joe Ferguson's five interceptions. 

1990 against the Colts. Jeff George’s first regular season game. Bruce destroyed him and ate him for lunch and dinner. It was my birthday present. I’ll never forget!

— Larry Benn (@lwb66) September 4, 2019

Unsurprisingly, lots are home openers, but for me the game in 89 told me so much. Down 24-13 to roar back & win on Kelly's sneak

03 vs Pats was quirky & fun and odd, but ultimately meaningless & kind of sad since how that year & generation turned out.

— Bill Tooke (@BillTooke) September 4, 2019

Some more great choices!


Author's choice:

The Rex Ryan era in Buffalo was disappointing to say the least. The hype before his first season as head coach in 2015, however had fans believing he was the missing piece, after going 9-7 in 2014 with one of the league's best defenses. 

The season and home opener against a highly thought of Indianapolis Colts team did not simmer the expectations as Buffalo got the 27-14 victory. New starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor had many thinking Buffalo found a diamond in the rough, flashing through the air and on the ground.

Taylor connected with wide receiver Percy Harvin on the game's biggest play, a 51-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Running back LeSean McCoy also made his Bills debut after coming over from the Philadelphia Eagles in a blockbuster trade earlier that offseason. 

That game had the city buzzing with, what looked to be, an explosive offense that would no longer hold back the top-tier defense. 


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