Strong start for Bills

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- It still is three months before they become the Toronto Bills for a day, but the folks streaming back across the Canada-U.S. boarder last night had ample reason to look forward to the games in between.

As impressive as it was, Buffalo's 34-10 win over the banged-up and barely mediocre Seattle Seahawks, won't get those outside the Bills' expanded region too hyped up about their prospects.

But it was, in the words of Bills safety Donte Whitner, a place to start.

And given an eventful early afternoon in the AFC East, which included New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady going down with what looked like a serious knee injury, all bets are off for early-season prognostications.

These are the types of early season games, that Buffalo routinely has let get away in the recent past leading to deep regret when the snow flies and a modest playoff push falls just short.

So as owner Ralph Wilson worked the locker room afterward, he had more reason to smile than the $78 million US he is getting from Rogers Communications to make his team part-time Canadian over the next five seasons.

"Everybody has to start somewhere," Whitner said. "Even the Colts and the Patriots ... they didn't just start winning the way they are. They had to start somewhere and get some confidence.

"You do that then you go on a streak and win some games and really solidify yourself as a good team in this league."

Despite a shaky start that included punts on their first four possessions, the Bills had plenty of confidence boosters before a sellout crowd of 71,194 at their principal home, Ralph Wilson Stadium.

There were the 34 points, a total one of the league's worst offences topped just once in last year's 9-7 campaign.

There was the brilliance of Roscoe Parrish, one of the most electric players in the league who returned a punt 63 yards for one Bills touchdown.

There was the razzle-dazzle of punter/holder Brian Moorman passing to Ryan Denney pass on a fake field goal for another touchdown.

Then there were the two sophomores, who arguably will play the biggest role in making them playoff contenders. Once he settled down, quarterback Trent Edwards showed some promise as did Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 76 yards including one 21-yard carry for a touchdown.

"Nothing is better than to open with season with a win and get the ball moving in the right direction," Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay said. "We're not really used to it around here. Hopefully that is going to change."

The AFC East certainly looks a little different this morning with some serious concern in New England. The hit that took down reigning league MVP Brady certainly looked serious enough to sideline him for a while and the Patriots were all out to escape a late rally by the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.

In South Florida, the Brett Favre era as a New York Jet got off to a solid start with a 20-14 win over the Dolphins, which also looked much improved from the miserable 1-15 squad of a year ago.

Before they deal with their division foes, the Bills will have a much tougher go next week on the road against Jacksonville than they did with a listless Seattle team that was missing its top two receivers. But an attacking defence, led by newcomers Marcus Stroud and Kawika Mitchell, put relentless pressure on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, limiting the NFC visitors to just 253 net yards.

Despite the slow start, the more the defence gave Edwards the ball, the more productive he became. Completions of 42 and 32 yards to Lee Evans set up a pair of scores and a 30-yard bullet to tight end Robert Royal on the goal line late in the third quarter was the icing on the cake.


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