1 - Bills hold singular focus for finale at Miami
The Bills know they must win and get help for an AFC Wild Card spot to become a reality for them. Despite the disappointment of a loss in New England, their outlook on the whole for their Week 17 matchup with the Dolphins and all the results they need to reach the postseason was singularly focused. !(https://goo.gl/qiMD1M)
"We have to focus on this next game. We can't get into the help that we need," said Tyrod Taylor. "We have to go down there and take care of business. If things fall into place then we'll definitely be ready for the playoffs, but first and foremost we have to play our best football against Miami down there."
"Yeah, I mean we've got to have our best game next week. We know what we have to do – go down to Miami and try to get a big win and now you've got to hope for other things to happen or whatever like that," said Preston Brown. "But we've got to do what we have to do to get a win."
"We want to go down to Miami and solidify a win," said Jerry Hughes. "We understand that it's going to be tough. It's going to be a tough road game, especially being a division game. We know how Miami likes to play us really tough so we understand that it's going to take an all team effort. Everybody's got to be really buying in. We've got to come out and put this game behind us for sure after tonight and then just focus on Miami. If we handle business with them, who knows what might happen."
The Bills need to win Sunday and either Baltimore needs to lose or both Tennessee and the Chargers must lose for Buffalo to get an AFC Wild Card berth.
2 - Poyer picked off Brady for first-career TD**
Notching your first-career touchdown in the NFL is undoubtedly a special moment, but it's additionally special coming from the hands of Tom Brady. That's just what Bills safety, Jordan Poyer, did on Sunday, as he intercepted Brady resulting in a pick-six.
That 19-yard interception return by Poyer was arguably Buffalo's peak point in their Week 16 matchup against New England. Brady's rare blunder gave the Bills a 10-3 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Poyer's performance was the best of any Bills defender, according to Pro Football Focus. He finished the game with an overall grade of 82.3. His stat line was six tackles, one pass defended, one interception, and one touchdown. PFF praised Poyer for his outing against the Pats.
Poyer was the Bills top defender for the game, playing solid against the run and making a key play in the passing game. Poyer jumped a crossing route with Kenny Britt drifting upfield, allowing him to step in front for the interception and weaving his way to the end zone for a touchdown. He gave up a couple grabs to Rob Gronkowski where he was tight in coverage but beaten by a good throw and catch. In total, Poyer was targeted four times giving up three catches for 32 yards and the pick.
Poyer's now picked off passes in back-to-back games, giving him a career-high four INTs on the season. One of those picks came in Week 15 against the Dolphins. He'll look to repeat that in Week 17 in Miami.
3 - Week 17 Power Rankings round-up
The Buffalo Bills find themselves in the middle of the pack in the final Power Rankings of the regular season. More importantly, at 8-7, the team's playing meaningful football in Week 17.
Bleacher Report has the Bills at 18th in this week's Power Rankings. Chris Simms shared his thoughts on Sunday's controversial call and Buffalo's outlook moving forward.
*When you're presented with early opportunities in the game and squander them, it's hard to beat the Patriots in Foxborough. The Buffalo Bills dominated the first half of Sunday's game - and I do think they were ripped off when Kelvin Benjamin's touchdown was overturned - but the Bills couldn't even carry a lead into the half. *
*Buffalo is headed in the right direction, but it looks like the playoff drought is going to last for at least one more season. *
Odds aren't in the Bills favor to make the postseason, but all it will take is a Buffalo win on Sunday and a Baltimore loss. Those two results will end the team's 17-year playoff drought.
ESPN was a little more generous with their ranking, putting the Bills at 15th. They even added a twist this week and reflected on the preseason projected win totals.
*It's hard to criticize Buffalo, as they were projected to win under seven games.
Finishing above its projection is nice for Buffalo, but the team and the city would really love a playoff berth to go along with it. The Bills haven't made the playoffs since 1999, the longest drought in the league.
Buffalo has silenced anyone who thought this was a tanking season. This Sunday, the Bills could erase the longest active postseason drought in all of major sports.
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