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National attention focuses on the Bills


It's only one game. One week.

You won't have to repeat that inside the Buffalo Bills locker room this week. But out in the public, among the Bills faithful, it may be worth repeating a few times in the run-up to week two.

That's because much of the national media has taken notice of Buffalo's convincing opening day win over the Colts. And there's a national buzz developing about how well the Bills played, and how the season may play out.

"This team, they can be special."

That's what Hall of Fame Running Back Marshall Faulk said about the Bills early in the week after the win over the Colts. Faulk is an analyst on the NFL Network. And his fellow analyst, former Head Coach Steve Mariucci, had similar words of praise for the Bills and new Head Coach Rex Ryan.  "Rex is going to have a lot of success this year with the Bills," Mariucci said on the NFL Network.

NBC's Peter King, the man behind the Monday Morning Quarterback-Sports Illustrated website, was effusive in his praise for the Bills win over the Colts.

"This was a revelation game for Buffalo," King wrote. And he was especially impressed by the Bills pass defense in the Colts game.

"Of the 26 teams that played Sunday," King reported, "no team had as many passes defensed (12) as Buffalo. The coverage was good; the pressure was better."

"The defense is the real thing," King continued in his Monday Morning Quarterback Column on  "If the offense can hold up its end—and really, you can say the same thing about any of the three AFC East challengers to New England—Buffalo will be in it until the end."

Hall of Fame CB Deion Sanders, also on the NFL Network, took notice of Buffalo's defensive scheme against the Colts.

"I like what they do," Sanders said. "These guys are so creative. Everybody there has bought in to what Rex Ryan brought to the table. Dennis Thurman is a tremendous communicator, a future head coach in the making. I love what they're bringing to the city of Buffalo."

And then Faulk followed up with more praise for the Bills defensive coaching scheme and the prospects for the team in 2015.

"Rex and Dennis Thurman-they're going to do what they do on defense. I don't care how they start off, at the end of the year they're going to be in the top five, top 10."

It's not just the Bills defense that is getting attention nationally.  Tyrod Taylor's performance in his first NFL start opened some eyes around the league, including that of writer Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times.

"If the Buffalo Bills have found a solution at quarterback in Tyrod Taylor," he wrote, "the rest of the NFL could be in trouble."  He continued: "…with Taylor moving the ball consistently, and the team's suffocating defense easily handling Andrew Luck thus far, the team looks like a good bet to end the franchise's 15-year playoff drought."

The national attention should continue this week, with planned visits to One Bills Drive from Bart Scott of the NFL on CBS, and Hannah Storm of ESPN to shoot pregame features for the upcoming weekend. And at least two Bills players are being mentioned as Week One award winners: CB Ronald Darby is a nominee for this week's Pepsi Rookie of the Week.  Punter Colton Schmidt has been named the "Punter of the Week" by ESPN research specialist Mark Simon for his performance against the Colts.

It's only one week. But there's a good chance there will be much more national recognition in the weeks and months ahead.

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