Before the Bills bye in Week 7, they were +11 in the turnover differential compared to -2 in the last five games. Josh Allen has said many times this year that turnovers are what lead to losses. Heading into the highly anticipated Monday Night Football game against the Patriots, both defenses are tied with 25 takeaways on the season. Protecting the football will be of the utmost importance when the Patriots come to town.
"Those guys on the defensive side, they get paid, too, and obviously we want to make sure that we're being smart with the football," Allen said Thursday after practice. "I want to take care of it and not put it in harm's way in the air or on the ground for that matter. … We understand that's one of the things coach McDermott always preaches to us and we got to do a better job with it."
While Josh Allen will sit at the podium and take the blame for the mistakes of the offense, the turnovers aren't all his fault. Whether it's the fumbles by the running backs or a miscommunication between him and his receivers, turnovers will happen in the game of football. What this team is focused on is limiting them, especially against divisional opponents like the Patriots.
With the turnovers that have already occurred this season, Stefon Diggs said after practice that it's all a learning experience. They know they can't make the same mistake twice and have to grow from the mistakes. Diggs took the blame for one of the interceptions Allen threw against the Saints and knows the special things that his quarterback can do on the football field.
"It's just part of being a quarterback," Diggs said. "That's our quarterback and I've seen him make, aside from having turnovers, I've seen him make every throw in the book. I've seen him make plays and I've seen him jump over guys. So, I don't care. I'm rocking with him and I'm taking the good with the bad regardless."
Against a talented Patriots defense, there will be little room for error with every possession being so important. Allen knows that good things happen when they can win the turnover battle.
"A statistic around the league that just always holds up pretty true - you win the turnover battle, and your chance of winning that game increases exponentially," the Bills quarterback said.
Jordan Poyer on Tre'Davious White's injury: "Just a minor setback, for a major comeback"
Tre'Davious White will miss his first game due to injury since Week 5 of the 2020 season. White has been a staple for this Bills defense, and it will be hard to fill the role that he played. But one thing that this Bills team knows how to do is rise to the challenge of adversity. Jordan Poyer knows it will be difficult to replace White on the field but is confident in the players behind him.
"It's hard to replace a guy like Tre'Davious White," Poyer stated. "Just as a teammate and as a friend. You hate to see that happen, anywhere, and obviously with the guys that are on our back end. As you said, it is next man up, and we've got all the faith in the world in Dane (Jackson). … We trust him on the back end, and I know he's excited for the opportunity that he's gonna have. So, we've just got to continue to keep working throughout the week and continue to build that trust."
White's injury seems to have lit a spark under the other players on the team and given them a little more motivation. They have such respect for White and the work he puts in on and off the field that they want to win this one for him.
"We want to play for T. White," Diggs said. "T. White was one of the best players on our team. He's one of the hardest workers on our team and not having one of your pieces or one of your guys out there, it's definitely a little different. … You know we want to play for T. White, that's our guy. I'm sending prayers for him. He's a hell of a player and he's a good person as well. We gonna have to get one for him."
A Monday Night Game Buffalo has been waiting for
Monday night's game against the Patriots will be the first home primetime game with fans since the 2018 season. It's been long overdue and Bills fans are excited to get back in Highmark Stadium and make their presence known. After not having fans until the playoffs last season, these Bills players know what it means to have the fans back this year. Dion Dawkins is so eager to run out of the tunnel to a crowd of screaming fans.
"I can't wait and just to feel that energy because you're right, I've never experienced it," Dawkins said. "And we've had packed out games, but it's just seeming like every time we play the Patriots, the fans are just a little more excited. So, I'm definitely looking forward to it."
The Bills are ready to use the weather to their advantage
Weather is very unpredictable in Buffalo and on some days, you can get all four seasons of weather wrapped into one. The current forecast predicts some snow for the Monday night clash between the Bills and the Patriots. Whatever the weather is, Dion Dawkins – the Shnowman – knows they can use it to their advantage.
"This is Buffalo, Dawkins said. "We use Buffalo to our advantage, and this is our home. So, we know that any given Sunday, Monday, Thursday. It could be rain, sleet, snow, hail, or have sunshine. So that's just a part of our tools that we adapted in Buffalo's lifestyle, but it is what it is."
If snowflakes do start to fall come Monday night, the Bills offense will be ready for it. Josh Allen is confident in the game plan they are drawing up this week and doesn't think the weather will have an impact on it.
"I don't think it changes a whole bunch, Allen said. "I think they've got some trust in me and I've got trust in them. But if it turns into just outrageous conditions, obviously you're gonna see more run-heavy from both sides of the ball and those are the games that go by quick because both teams are running it and the quarters go by fast and that makes each possession just extremely valuable."