1. Bills players feel confident in Tyler Bass
Rookie kicker Tyler Bass had a career game after making three field goals of at least 50 yards against the Cardinals. Bass started off the game with a career long of 54 yards and extended it from there by making a 55-yard field goal and a 58-yard field goal. His 58-yard field goal tied for the second-longest in Bills history. His 85 points on the season through Week 10 gives his team a lot of confidence.
"We have an extreme amount of confidence in him," Bills quarterback Josh Allen said. "He's got the leg, the crazy big leg. He's a young guy, and I know early on things weren't going his way, but he's turned it around. We all had faith in him. He had I think three 50-plus field goals today, which is awesome for a rookie to go out there and do that. He's only going to get better, it's extremely promising. He's a great dude on top of that, and the guys in the locker room love him. We've got his back no matter what."
Bass is the third Bill with multiple 50-yard field goals in a game. The rookie joins Mike Hollis who did it in 2002 and Stephen Hauschka who did it twice in 2017. After watching Bass' perfect game, wide receiver Cole Beasley said he sticks out among other kickers he has been around.
"I've been around a lot of kickers," Beasley said. "I've been around some good ones, too. There's some that overthink things sometimes. And I like him because he never does. He just goes out there and kicks the hell out of the ball. I admire him for that, miss or make he's going to kick the hell out of it every time. That's the way you've got to be at any position. I just like his attitude and how he approaches it."
2. How defense adjusted to Saturday's COVID-19 news
The Bills defense couldn't have predicted being down a few players going into the Cardinals game due to a COVID-19 positive test and COVID-19 protocols. Buffalo announced on Saturday that cornerback Josh Norman tested positive for COVID-19 and would miss Sunday's game. Due to contact tracing protocols, cornerback Levi Wallace and safety Dean Marlowe also missed the game.
Head coach Sean McDermott said the group found out they would be short a few defensive players not too long before leaving for Arizona.
"It's unfortunate anytime someone tests positive, and the guys that were apparently exposed couldn't make the trip either," McDermott explained. "But, listen, no excuses, no explanations. We've got to get the job done. I'm proud of the way that the guys didn't blink. To be told basically within an hour before we took off that three or four guys were also not going to be able to make the trip, that's hard. So, I really appreciate the mental toughness of our group here."
Safety Micah Hyde said the defense didn't want to use the fact that they were short-handed as an excuse.
"We definitely didn't want to use that as an excuse coming into this game," Hyde explained. "We heard from the outside people talking about how this was going to hurt us and stuff. I felt like when we got here in 2017 we established a standard, a standard as a defense in the back end with 27 (Tre'Davious White), 21 (Jordan Poyer) and myself.
"Obviously whoever the nickel is, Taron [Johnson] and the other corner, whoever that may be, we take pride in the standard we have here of playing well no matter who is in the game. I was out a couple weeks ago against New England, Dean [Marlowe] stepped in and the standard didn't change. That's the mindset that we have. Fortunately, I wish that standard would have held true on the last play of the game. We didn't want to use that as an excuse in the first place."
3. A look at the AFC East hierarchy heading into Week 11
With seven weeks left in the season, even after a loss to the Cardinals, the Bills are still in first place in the AFC East. Buffalo has seven wins and three losses as the team heads into their bye week - a half game ahead of the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins sit in second place with six wins and three losses.
Up next for the Dolphins is a game against the Denver Broncos. Miami has won the last five games. Their longest losing streak was two games to start the season when they lost to the Patriots in Week 1 and the Bills in Week 2. The Bills will play the Dolphins in Buffalo in the final game of the season.
With six games left for the Bills, safety Jordan Poyer thinks the team can learn from the tough loss.
"We're a resilient group," Poyer said. "We're going to learn from our mistakes. We've got six regular season games guaranteed left. It's a lot of football left to be played, and right now we're 7-3. Obviously, this one definitely stings. We want to get this taste out of our mouths as soon as possible."