ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills’ return to play for the first time since Damar Hamlin’s All involved were expected to experience an emotional moment of loss.

However, the first play in Sunday’s game, a 96-yard kickoff return for touchdown, scored by Nyheim Hines of the BillsIt could not have been a better moment for the N.F.L. team and fans. itself.

Only 14 seconds in, Hines ran through stadium’s end zone before jumping into the crowd.

Carolyn Markowski, a woman who stood outside Highmark Stadium on Sunday, was not an avid football fan.

However, she was there to witness Hamlin fall. on Last Monday was emotional for the entire field as they followed him in his recovery. on Friday she had to be at the game again so that her son could see.

“We saw this man go down — I’m getting emotional thinking about it now — and I’ve been emotional about it ever since,” Sie said. “I said, ‘I want to go to that football game.’ I never wanted to go to a football game, never in my life.”

The Sunday edition of the Bills Played an N.F.L. played an N.F.L. game for the first times since Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on The field. Sunday’s game, against the New England Patriots, carried some playoff seeding implications, but its meaning felt far more layered than that to those involved.

For a man just starting to regain his health, it was an uphill battle in Hospital bed

This was an occasion to celebrate the life-saving skills of those who, often unnoticed, stepped up to help last week.

It was an emotionally charged, several-hour-long experience of communion in The cold has been a terrible experience for thousands of residents of this city who endured many other difficult moments in the last few months including a massacre last May, and a devastating blizzard last month.

“This is what we do,” Pat Danner, 85 years old, was the one who said so. Hamlin’s No. No. “We’re all just trying to get together and make things better for everybody.”

3 was No. The No. Numerous Bills The No. Three printed on them. Numerous players from across the league performed the same thing while warming up to their games.

Before kickoff Bills Players ran on the field waving flags with messages that were written in it. “Pray for Damar.”

Hamlin’s name was engraved on the walls of homes surrounding the stadium. on Their lawns.

Propped in the parking lot is a sign on A Ford pickup truck’s reading comprehension is: “Learn CPR, because you never know” — a reference to the procedures that helped save Hamlin’s life.

“It’s very emotional, and it should be,” Lisa Bubel, 44 years old, is an E.M.T. Firefighter. Rochester, N.Y. – The woman was wearing BillsWho made these sandals? “It’s a heartwarming tragedy, I guess, is one way to put it. It’s united everybody. And in a world where we see bad news all the time, it has been great to see people come together as human beings.”

As game time approached, the charged atmosphere only increased. Hamlin posted a greeting From his hospital bed where he was viewing the game.

“Nothing I Want More Than To Be Running Out That Tunnel With My Brothers,” He wrote. “God Using Me In A Different Way Today. Tell Someone You Love Them Today!

Moments before the game began, a photograph of Hamlin with his parents, Nina and Mario, was posted to his Twitter account. They appeared to be watching the game from his hospital room at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Thirteen members of the Bills’ medical and training staff were recognized on the field before the action began. They held three fingers in the air as they received a standing ovation from the raucous crowd.

After Hines’s return, Buffalo went up, 14-7, at the start of the second quarter, on Allen’s 4-yard pass to Dawson Knox.

After the catch, Knox held up his hands, which formed a heart shape, for TV cameras. In response, Hamlin posted a message that read, “I love you too.”

Halftime saw the score tied 14-14