Over the bye week, the Bills coaches and players had time to take a step back and evaluate the ups and the downs to the start of their 4-2 season.
The three-point loss to the Titans on Monday Night Football put a bad taste in the team's mouth that they had to sit with all week. The guys were grateful to rest and recover but their mindset was always on football. Even the beach couldn't distract Jordan Poyer enough from wanting to get back to work.
"I'm sitting there with my family, my wife and my daughter, and we're just sitting at the beach, and I was just thinking like, `Man, kind of can't wait to get back to playing football,'" Poyer said.
Everyone on the team follows the 24-hour rule after a game, no matter how big the win or how painful the loss. With the past in the past, this Bills team is laser-focused on becoming 1-0 this week and improving to 2-0 in the division heading into Sunday's game against Miami.
For Josh Allen, he knows that he wasn't perfect against the Titans but said that he's not dwelling on it. He knows that he can't change the past but only learn from it and improve going forward. He's come out of the bye week with a clear head and an itch to play another football game.
"I definitely feel comfortable," Allen said. "Just given the situation of what Coach McDermott preaches to us, how guys handle things, how professional guys on this team are handling their business, handling their bye week, and coming back being ready to go. We had a really good Wednesday practice. So, we have to continue that the next few days and be ready for a tough game on Sunday."
Allen noted that it's hard to beat a team twice over the course of a season, which is why divisional games can be intense. Buffalo beat Miami 35-0 back in Week 2, and with the Dolphins currently on a six-game losing streak, they will do anything in their power for a win. The Bills players know that and understand the Dolphins will bring their A-game on Sunday and they will have to do the same.
"I've been in the league long enough to know that it didn't matter what you did last game, last week, or yesterday," Poyer stated. "This team is hungry for a win. They're coming in ready to play so we've got to prepare well and come ready to play as well."
A win on Sunday would mark seven consecutive victories against the Dolphins which would establish a new franchise record. This Bills team is confident in themselves that they won't let one loss turn into a losing streak. They are battle-tested and have the experience to overcome adversity.
Buffalo's confidence comes from the hard work they all put in week after week. With a team this close-knit and full of continuity, Stefon Diggs labeled this team as having a 'humble confidence.'
"In that area of, humbly, we know who we are, and we know what we have," Diggs said. "We know the players that we have, and we work at it each and every day. We're not at practice rolling the dice and saying, 'we'll be alright.' We go back to work with the mindset of we need to get better. Those things that we're not doing well, we're gonna work at it until it's perfect."
Is an appearance on the Manningcast in Josh Allen's future?
The ManningCast on ESPN's Monday Night Football has been a hit with fans this season. Brothers Peyton and Eli Manning sit and talk about the primetime game with high-profile guests. Last week's guests featured Marshawn Lynch, Tom Brady, Sue Bird and Drew Brees. After practice, Allen was asked if he had seen it and explained his relationship with the Manning family.
"I have, it's awesome. I'm a big fan," Allen said. "I think most of the current players though, are kind of longtime vets that have been in this league for a while. One, I don't know if I have the insight they're looking for. Let's just say I wouldn't give them any sound bites or clips. I do have a good relationship with Peyton and Eli going back to the Manning Passing Academy. And Archie texts me once in a while, which is really cool. It's super surreal that he texts me and wishes me good luck and stuff. They're the ultimate football family. So yeah, if they asked me, I'd definitely go on."
Stefon Diggs not surprised by Sean McDermott's post-bye success
Sean McDermott has a 4-0 record coming off the bye week since he's been the coach of the Bills. In his first two seasons, the Bills won each of their post-bye games by three points and in the next two seasons, they won by 10 points in each game. Stefon Diggs isn't surprised by McDermott's record. He noted that his consistency in the way he coaches is a big reason for the post-bye success.
"He's that coach that's going to be the same guy," Diggs stated. "He's not gonna come out and he's not gonna be a 'rah-rah' guy. He's straightforward. He's a straight shooter. He likes his team to be workers. I feel like he's put together the right kind of team of guys that go out there and he can kind of like, I'm not saying just give the reins to, but he can trust his guys. He can trust the guys that he made captains and even the guys who aren't captains but are all leaders on this team."