The perfect goodbye

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It could not have been a better final game. 

Well… ok… it wasn’t John Elway winning two straight Super Bowls and the owner firing off an impeccable dramatic pause (This one’s–wait, wait, wait, wait–for John!) that NFL Films can replay for decades. 

But short of that, Kyle Williams’ goodbye game was perfect. Give Sean McDermott and the Bills organization a ton of credit for seeing him off properly. 

He got a pregame introduction when the Bills, under McDermott, have mostly been introduced all at once as a team. They brought his wife and five kids on the field for it, too. Kyle admitted it was the first time he cried in a helmet. 

He got a touch. Not a touchdown this time, but the first and only catch in his career. The nine yards were more than enough for Kyle. He said the other 40 left between himself and the goal line looked quite a distance. “I was never more thankful to be tackled.”

McDermott did a phenomenal job creating the final curtain call. We speculated in the press box that Kyle might take the final knee to close the game. Instead, the Bills took a knee on 4th down to put the defense on the field. McDermott then called time out, like a basketball coach, so Kyle could get the ovation he deserved coming off the field. 

Like I said, perfect. 

Williams added the cherry with his lap around New Era Field. Players often shake hands with fans in the corner of the stadium between the Bills bench and the tunnel following a game. Williams didn’t stop at the tunnel. I can’t remember another player doing a full lap after a game. 

If you didn’t feel fulfilled as a Bills fan after that sendoff, then you probably complain because Santa only visits your house once. 

It wasn’t just the pomp and circumstance that made this final Sunday of 2018 perfect. The game was pretty fun, too. 

Not only did the Bills utterly dominate a Dolphins team that had a thousand reasons to sleep walk through this game, the heroes were all players that carry the hope of 2019. 

Josh Allen followed, arguably, the worst game of his career with, arguably, the best. Instead of excuses and debates about receiver drops, there was just production. Five touchdowns ain’t too shabby no matter how you slice it. It was his second game with a completion percentage over 60 (65.3%), his third best passing yards total (224) and his fourth game in the ballpark or better than 100 yards rushing (97).

Tremaine Edmunds had 12 (TWELVE!) tackles, a sack and a tricky interception. Tre White danced the sideline for another pick. Zay Jones scored twice and nearly reached 100 yards. Robert Foster looked like a seasoned vet executing a back shoulder catch to convert a third and goal. 

Williams is part of the reason for that success as well. Jerry Hughes said Williams might not even realize it. 

“It’s been fun watching those young guys watch Kyle,” Hughes said. “You see a lot of our young guys watching him, feeding off him. ‘Ok, this is what this guy is doing in year 13… I need to pick it up’.”

As much as Bills fans said goodbye to Williams, they were saying hello to the potential of what this team can be next year and beyond. 

Who knows if the Bills will ever realize that potential, but it sure made Sunday feel damn good. 

Williams has always represented everything Buffalo wants to be. Everything that makes Bills fans smile. 

“Toughness, effort, attitude. I’ve always wanted all those things to be hallmarks of my career.”

There could not be a better tribute to Kyle Williams than sending every Bills fan home grinning ear to ear.

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