1. Buffalo's primetime stretch starts tonight
Tonight, the Bills will look to get their first win on Monday Night Football in this century. The team's last win on a Monday night came against the Dolphins on Oct. 4, 1999. Tonight's matchup against the 49ers will be the first of four straight national games for the Bills. Week 14 is a Sunday Night matchup against the Steelers on NBC, Week 15 is a late Saturday afternoon special against the Broncos on NFL Network and Week 16 brings another Monday night game against the Patriots on ESPN. Sean McDermott talked about maintaining a routine with the shift in playing times, and what these primetime games mean to the organization and the fans.
"When you're in the national spotlight usually you got a pretty good team. Although when you have a routine, and you're playing a lot of one o'clock games, and that sometimes tells you maybe how you're perceived also. So, although we all love playing home at one o'clock to get home to be able to get to spend time with family because we all work a lot. It is nice to be recognized when you have as many primetime games as we're getting. It means you're respected around the league and it's great for our fans too, it's nice for our fans to be recognized as well. I think the long and short of it is that we know what it is, and we've got to be comfortable being uncomfortable and knowing that we're not going to have normal weeks from here on out. That's including this week, so I think it's a great opportunity for us as an organization and I know our players are looking forward to it as well starting this week."
2. AFC playoff picture begins to take shape
Week 13 started off with wins by four of the top seven seeds in the AFC. The Chiefs, Browns, Dolphins and Colts all improved their records, while the Titans lost and fell one spot in the standings but still hold a tiebreaker over the Colts to remain the fourth seed. Kansas City became the first AFC team to clinch a playoff spot with a win over Denver.
With Buffalo playing San Francisco and Pittsburgh playing Washington, there could be more movement in the standings depending on the outcomes. Pittsburgh is in position to clinch an AFC playoff spot with a victory. While the Bills will work to maintain their lead in the AFC East with a win against the 49ers. Below are the current standings in the AFC with three important games left to play between tonight and tomorrow.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (11-0)
- Kansas City Chiefs (11-1)
- Buffalo Bills (8-3)
- Tennessee Titans (8-4)
- Cleveland Browns (9-3)
- Miami Dolphins (8-4)
- Indianapolis Colts (8-4)
3. Five milestones within reach in tonight's Monday night matchup
Fans can keep an eye on the box score tonight to see if the Bills reach any of the following milestones tonight.
- With a win tonight, the Bills will start 9-3 in consecutive seasons for the first time since doing so in three straight seasons from 1990-92.
- Stefon Diggs needs 55 receiving yards to reach the 1,000-yard milestone for 3rd straight year. He had 1,021 yards in 2018 and 1,130 yards in 2019, both with Minnesota. He will become the 12th Bill (22nd occasion) to post a 1,000-yard receiving season.
- With 62 passing yards, Josh Allen will post a new career-high eclipsing the 3,089 yards he threw in 2019. He is the fifth quarterback in team history to have multiple seasons with more than 3,000 passing yards.
- Tyler Bass enters tonight's game with 95 points this season, which is third-most by a Bills rookie/first-year player. He needs four points to pass Booth Lusteg (98 points in 1966) for the second-highest output by a Bills rookie/first-year player and eight points to claim the record passing Pete Gogolak (102 points in 1964)
- With 2.0 sacks, Jerry Hughes can leap past Cornelius Bennett for the fourth-most sacks in team history. Hughes currently has 51.0 sacks as a Bill, Bennett is fourth with 52.5, Phil Hansen is third with 61.5, Aaron Schobel is second with 78.0, and Bruce Smith is number one with 171 sacks.