It’s 9 o’clock on a typical autumn Sunday morning in the Twin Tiers, and a sense of optimism fills the crisp morning air as the Buffalo Bills get set for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

ORCHARD PARK — Buffalo Bills linebacker A.J. Klein has raised his level of play the past month in the absence of star linebacker Matt Milano.

ORCHARD PARK — Josh Allen couldn’t entirely overlook how sloppy the Bills’ offense played, having difficulty closing out a 27-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

As Bills fans were imagining their team’s playoff run in 2020 – especially with Tom Brady having left New England – scanning the schedule they envisioned a sweep of the Jets and Dolphins and a split with the Pats in the division, plus wins at Denver and in Orchard Park against the Chargers. …

ORCHARD PARK — Stefon Diggs was preparing for the start of practice Wednesday when Buffalo Bills offensive line coach Bobby Johnson approached and asked how the receiver was doing.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — DeAndre Hopkins knows that football fans might view his final, winning catch on Sunday as some sort of miracle. Even the players and coaches for the Arizona Cardinals couldn’t hide their disbelief when he jumped over three Buffalo defenders and came down with the ball.

For all the positive impact Sean McDermott has had since taking over as coach of the Bills, his critics, albeit quietly, have registered one persistent complaint.

If Josh Allen is to rediscover the magic of this season’s first four games, tomorrow at Bills Stadium should (read: has to be) the time.

ORCHARD PARK — With more NFL transactions than tackles to his name over five nomadic years, defensive lineman Justin Zimmer arrived in Buffalo for a second stint with the Bills in mid-August doubting his chances.

ORCHARD PARK — Jerry Hughes has too often watched the Patriots snatch victory away from the Buffalo Bills in what has been an AFC East rivalry that for too long tilted in New England’s favor.

You have to go back to last year’s regular-season finale – a 13-6 loss to the Jets at then-New Era Field – to find the last time the Bills played a meaningless game.