The good news for the Buffalo Bills? It was only Week 2, and their 40-32 loss to the New England Patriots might not mean much in the long term.
The bad news for the Bills? It was only Week 2, and the game should never have generated the hype and importance that it seemingly did for the Bills.
Rex Ryan sarcastically concluded twice in his postgame news conference that the pregame headlines he made with his words were the reason why the Bills lost, but the idea shouldn't be so immediately dismissed. Some of his players were emotionally overheated at the start of the game, and the Bills paid the price.
"Guys were really confident, it felt like we could get the job done today," running back LeSean McCoy said. "With the matchups we felt good about our approach today, it's just that I think we got overly hyped, and it kind of backfired."
Linebacker Nigel Bradham said, "I don't think the talking had anything to do with it," before adding, "We just came out too fired up, I believe. That's what caused the penalties. We had way too many penalties."
From an attempt by fans at the Guinness World Record for crowd noise, to the Bills' official team store and a local car wash taking Deflategate jabs, to billboard poems about Tom Brady, to players and Ryan treating pregame time with reporters as if it was a weigh-in for a heavyweight bout, it was all too much, too soon for the Bills.
There was an undeniable energy swirling around Ralph Wilson Stadium at kickoff and it reached a critical mass when the Bills marched 80 yards for a touchdown on the opening and then held the Patriots to a three-and-out on their first possession.
From there, the Bills lost their composure and the game devolved into something that Buffalo couldn't control. Safety Duke Williams was flagged for taking a swing at a Patriots player, and fellow safety Aaron Williams -- an emotionally charged player even in a normal game setting -- was penalized for both taunting and unnecessary roughness.
"We were just too rowdy," cornerback Stephon Gilmore. "If we would have just [played], then the whole game would have been different."
The Bills are one of the NFL's most talented teams, and their ability to make the game interesting late in the fourth quarter following a Jerry Hughes strip-sack and Sammy Watkins touchdown catch shows just how dangerous Buffalo can be when things come together.
But it's a long season. The NFL's most successful teams will make steady progress throughout the fall, staying focused on the bigger goal while keeping a levelheaded and disciplined approach along the way.
The bad new for the Bills? They didn't do that Sunday. The good news? They have plenty of time to fix it.
Unlike last week -- or before their trip to face the Miami last season -- the Bills would be wise to tone it down as they prepare for the Dolphins this week.