Orange owns its destiny

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles after a weekend of trying to find explanations:

n Bills offense — Buffalo, a 14-point favorite over division rival Miami, slept walked in the first half against the Dolphins. The 3-3 tie was the first time in the past 18 games that the Bills, who produced five first downs in the half, failed to hold a halftime lead. There was probably a riveting halftime speech because Buffalo later woke up and scored 23 points over four successive possessions and eventually won, 26-11. The Bills (5-2) are my favorites to reach the Super Bowl because the other AFC contenders have potentially debilitating flaws: Ravens (horrible pass defense), Titans (Derrick Henry out for eight weeks), Raiders (interim coach), Bengals (lack of playoff experience), Browns (broken passing game), Chargers (poor run defense), Chiefs (bad defense, period) and Patriots (may not qualify). The ideal Super Bowl matchup would be the Bills vs. either the Cowboys or the Rams, who could play on their home field.

n Steelers are 4-3 — They have won three straight and got out of the AFC North cellar. The Giants, Lions, Dolphins and Washington have all scored more points than the Steelers, who are finding ways to win under their Hall of Fame coach Mike Tomlin, defense and an improving O-line.

n Four Subs Beat Four More Talented Starting QBs — How do you explain backup QBs Mike White, Cooper Rush, Geno Smith and Trevor Siemian getting the best of Joe Burrow, Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence and Tom Brady, respectively? You can’t.

n Winless Soccer Team Becomes Co-Champion — I have been in the sports scene for more than 50 years, and I have never come across something like this. The Norwood-Norfolk girls soccer team finished the season with an 0-13-4 overall record, but because it tied Madrid-Waddington in Saturday’s Section 10 Class C title game after four overtimes, the Flyers were declared co-champs. The Yellowjackets then won in penalty kicks to advance into state play. While the N-N boys program participated in the smaller-school NAC East Division, the girls program played in the more tougher Class A- and B-based Central Division (Potsdam, Canton, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, Massena, Malone, etc.) and perhaps playing that level of stiff opponents during the regular season paid dividends in sectionals. Section 10 features four levels of competition based on school enrollment and, combined that soccer is conducive to low scoring, subject to draws and can come down to decisive penalty kicks in playoff games, this type of unlikely scenario can occur — and it did.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at

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