ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s spooky times in New England but Bills Mafia thinks it’s just magical as fans aren’t being tricked but rather getting a treat seeing the Patriots on a three-game losing streak.
Alright I just had to sneak some Halloween references in there with October 31st right around the corner.
In all seriousness, the Bills are in a great position to win the AFC East for the first time since 1995 and have a chance to give themselves an even bigger lead in the division with a win over the Patriots this Sunday.
Even though the Patriots have struggled this season, they’re 2-4 overall and went through some major changes this offseason, that doesn’t mean this isn’t still a big game for the Bills and the fan base, although you wouldn’t know it talking to players and coaches.
“It’s the most important one because it’s the next one, that’s the mindset we have every time we play so we’re not trying to make it a bigger deal or a smaller deal than what it needs to be. Our goal is to win every game we play. We’re not going out there to lose so we’re focusing on this week,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said.
The Bills are saying all of the right things, not giving anyone any bulletin board material, and not hyping up any matchups. That’s the way Sean McDermott operates and it trickles down to the rest of the team.
“We’re focused on one game right now. We’re in October, late October, early November and that’s really what we’re focused on right now,” Sean McDermott said.
“You’ve gotta prove yourself every week in the NFL.”
“They’re a very good football team, reigning division champs for many years and coached by one of if not the best coach in the history of the NFL so we certainly have a lot of respect for them both internally and what they do on the field as well.”
See what I mean?
The Bills are looking for their first win against the Patriots under Sean McDermott and their first win against New England since 2016. Last year in their first meeting of the season, the Bills lost 16-10 in Orchard Park where Josh Allen threw three interceptions. But Allen said that was a turning point for him.
“Looking back at last year’s tape especially the first game, it’s not fun just knowing some of the mistakes that I made but I do get to see what they were trying to do to me, how they played me game one to game two and I don’t know if they’ll play me the same way. If they do we’ve seen it before but if not we’ll adjust and play football,” Allen explained.
So far this season, the Bills swept the Jets, beat the Dolphins and now look to stay undefeated in the division.
“We’d be 4-0 in the AFC East. I don’t think you’ve got to make this game any bigger than what it is. It’s another opportunity at home against the New England Patriots, a team we’ve haven’t beat in a few years so we feel like we definitely, I mean we’re gonna have our hands full but we definitely need to come in with the right mindset because we definitely feel like we owe them one,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said.
“I think it’s huge. Not only does it help us in this building understand the importance of conference games and division games but I think it’s huge for us because that’s the next opponent, that’s the next team that we have to face and they’re in our way of hanging the AFC East banner. That’s what we talked about is taking care of our division and then getting to the playoffs. So for us in this building to bring that back to this city would be huge,” Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes said.
And even though they’ve struggled this season especially offensively, they still present challenges. They’ve found success running the ball and it starts with quarterback Cam Newton who brought that element to the Patriots offense they didn’t have before. And stopping the run is something the Bills defense has had issues with especially against the Chiefs.
“We’re very familiar with them, they’re very familiar with us so it’s gonna be a smash-mouth, four quarter football game,” Hughes explained.
So is there a changing of the guard in the AFC East? Is it too early to tell? Or can we make that conclusion now?
“You gotta take that title away before you can make that statement. Those guys, they still have that title hanging over there in Boston so until someone takes that crown from them we cannot yet say that so I’m gonna hold my tongue because I know I don’t like to put anything out there in the universe and then have to come back and eat crow so I will say that we’re gonna be ready for this game,” Hughes said.