It's no secret to anyone outside One Bills Drive that in Week 5 the Bills will have a rematch of the AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs. Most fans have had that game circled on their calendars since the schedule was released in May. If you were to ask Josh Allen who they play in Week 5, he wouldn't have known that answer.
"I didn't know we were playing [Kansas City] next to be honest," Allen said. "And our focus is on the Houston Texans and that's our only goal in sight right now."
This Bills team is locked in on the Houston Texans as all the players and coaches are laser-focused on leaving Week 4 with a 1-0 record. After practice, the players preached that this is the NFL and that they must take it week by week or the team won't be able to achieve the goals set before the season.
With the team's sole focus on beating the Texans, Allen is looking inward and trying to put all his energy into making himself better and fixing the mistakes from the week before. After the first two games, Allen told the media that he needed to take what the defenses were giving him. Allen took his own advice in Week 3 and was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 350-plus yards and four touchdowns. Allen is looking to build off of his strong performance this week against the Texans.
"It shows me that making the right decisions, and doing the right things is going to ultimately lead to team success," Allen said. "So, I gotta find ways to keep doing that and not getting bored with some of the underneath stuff and just trust in our guys. As we saw on Sunday, if we get balls into our playmakers' hands usually good things happen."
Scroll to see photos of the Bills as they prepare for their Week 4 game against the Houston Texans.
The Bills offensive line played its best game as a unit and didn't allow Allen to be sacked once against the talented Washington defensive line. On Sunday, Buffalo will face a Texans defensive line consisting of Whitney Mercilus, Ross Blacklock, Maliek Collins, and Charles Omenihu. Mitch Morse has watched the tape and he's concluded that the Texans defensive linemen have unmatched effort, and the Bills offensive line must be ready to give it their all until they hear the whistle.
Morse was asked after practice if he thinks that 'trap games' are a thing the players pay attention to or if it is driven more by the media. The Bills center explained that there's so much that goes into playing an NFL game that you can only focus on one game at a time.
"There's a reason why they play in the NFL," Morse said. "So, for us, no. We understand that this is a very talented defense. A front four that plays exceptionally hard. I think when you watch the film, they play through the whistle, and they play with extreme effort. Which a lot of the production comes from just out-competing their opponent. So, for us, it'll be a great challenge matching that intensity."
The Bills are entering this week's game as heavy favorites against the Texans. To the players that doesn't mean much especially because not long ago in 2018 the Vikings were heavy favorites against the Bills and the Bills won 27-6. Stefon Diggs was on that Vikings team, and he remembers that game wasn't a fun one for him. Since then, Diggs doesn't put any stock into team records or which team has the better win probability because in the NFL the better-prepared team will win every week.
"I try not to think too much about favorites or teams like that because if they come to play and they have a good game plan, any team can win," Diggs stated. "And I feel like we had that experience the first game of the season. I mean, I'm not gonna say we were supposed to win because that's a great team, but you always expect it when you always expect to play extremely well. And we didn't, so having that humbling experience early, I rather have it happen earlier than later. Now it's put us in that spot, 'okay, stay grounded, stay focused, and stay grinding' because it's any given Sunday. For us now, we're in a great spot to just keep working, keep your head down and when Sunday rolls around, put your best (stuff) on tape."
Here are a few additional notes from Bills practice on Wednesday.
Josh Allen looking forward to the reunion with David Culley
Texans head coach David Culley is familiar with Buffalo after spending two years here from 2017-2018. He was Josh Allen's quarterback coach during his rookie season, and Culley meant a lot to him and his development as a young player in this league. After practice, Allen had nothing but compliments for his former position coach
"Coach Culley, other than being a great coach, he's a great man," Allen said. "Being able to talk through things slowed the game down. He's been around this league for such a long time; he's been around some really great players. So, extremely knowledgeable, glad we'd get to spend the time that we did. And then obviously in Baltimore – he waited this long to get this chance in Houston, so I'm happy for him. It's gonna be fun playing against his team and good to see him after the game."
Stefon Diggs gives Dawson Knox a big vote of confidence
Dawson Knox is having the best start to his career since he's been in the NFL. In the first three weeks, Knox has 10 receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Knox is off to a faster start than he showed in 2019 and 2020 and continues to make athletic catches and make them look easy. Stefon Diggs is proud of the work Knox put in this offseason and thinks he's a valuable mismatch for this Bills offense.
"He can do everything from the tight end position," Diggs said. "When I see him out there catching go balls or catching fades, you obviously can see how talented he is as far as like being rangy, being able to make plays on the ball. … We've got wideouts, and we've got guys who can play at a high level. But having that tight end position being another key as far as having the matchups and having those matchups that say, we know Dawson Knox is going to win here, why not feed him? It just adds another layer to our offense and adds another weapon. So, you can't have too many weapons."