1. Coach McDermott's message to the fans
When Sean McDermott arrived in Buffalo in 2017, the Bills were amidst the worst playoff drought in franchise history. In his four seasons with the Bills, he has brought this team to the playoffs three of those four years. The team achieved their next goal last night by clinching the AFC East for the first time in 25 years. McDermott said after the game that he was so proud of his team and so happy for all the fans who have waited so long for this moment.
"I'm just so thankful, McDermott stated. "I am so thankful and again, it's not one person, I'm so thankful and so happy for the fans, honestly. I'm just so happy for the fans, it's just such a cool place to be a part of because of the work ethic of the people and character of the people in Buffalo around Buffalo and Western New York. I love seeing Bills flags wave out in people's yards and I'm hoping there are a lot more people buying Bills flags tonight to give as Christmas gifts this year. I'm humbled just to be a part of it honestly."
2. Milestones from the game
With the win, the Bills moved to 11-3 and clinched their first AFC East title since 1995. Buffalo is 11-3 or better after 14 games for the fifth time in franchise history and the first time since 1991 (12-2). The team was also 12-2 in 1964 & 1990; 11-3 in 1988.
Here are some other milestones from last night's historic win:
- Season rating of 104.2 is a Bills record and one of only two in team history over 100, along with 101.2 by Jim Kelly in 1990.
- Now has exactly 4,000 passing yds. this season, second-most in a single season in franchise history. He needs 360 passing yards to establish a new team record (4,359 by Drew Bledsoe in 2002).
- Has completed 68.69% of passes in 2020. That marks the highest single-season completion percentage in team history, passing Kelly Holcomb (67.39%) in 2005.
- Now has 79 receptions in a season, which is a new personal season-high topping the 75 rec. for Dallas in 2016.
- 950 receiving yards this season are already a new personal season-high (had 833 in 2016 with Dallas.
- He needs 50 yards to give Bills their third pair of 1,000-yard receivers in the same season (would join Stefon Diggs-1,314+) (others: Andre Reed-1,113 and James Lofton-1,072 in 1991; Eric Moulds-1,292 and Peerless Price-1,252 in 2002)
- 111 receptions this season are a new club single-season record, he entered the game tied with Eric Moulds (100 in 2002).
- He also established a new personal single season-high in receptions passing the 102 rec. he had with Minnesota in 2018. He has reached the 100-reception milestone for the second time in his career and is the 26th player in NFL history with multiple seasons with 100+ rec.
- 1,314 receiving yards are a new personal season-high (had 1,130 in 2019 with Min.) and this is his third straight season with 1,000+ receiving yards.
3. Players trust the process
The Bills broke the third-longest active streak in the NFL by winning the AFC East for the first time in 25 years. It's been four years in the making, and this team has overcome adversity time and time again to reach this point. Jordan Poyer spoke after the game about the culture McDermott has instilled in this team, and the expectations they all have for each other.
"When Sean came in, there was a different culture that he was trying to build in Buffalo," Poyer said. "He took the right group of guys to continue to build that culture and continue to understand expectations that coach has for us. We understand the expectations that he has for us. It's been building, man. We had made it to the playoffs in 2017, ended up losing, we were able to learn from that. Wasn't very good in 2018. Same thing in 2019. That's one play away from winning a playoff game. Those experiences that we went through, the hardships that we've gone through, it's all led up to this moment right here for us to be able to win the AFC East. Guys like Micah and myself and Tre'Davious who have been here for four years, just continue to build that and add it to guys that they brought in. It feels really good, man. It feels like a long time in the making, but it's been working. It's working. Fair to say the process definitely works."