1 - Kyle Williams explains why he returned for 2018
Thousands of tears were shed in Western New York on Dec. 31, 2017.
Just hours before the year came to an end, the Bills qualified for the NFL postseason, putting an end to their playoff drought before it could officially reach the state's legal voting age. The waterworks started during the game itself, as veteran defensive tackle Kyle Williams scored his first NFL touchdown on a one-yard run late in the contest.
The score felt like a sign-off. Retirement seemed like a realistic possibility for the beloved Williams, who was set to turn 35 in the offseason. Fans felt as though a playoff berth served as a fairy-tale ending to Williams' storied career.
In the 2018 offseason, however, Williams decided to write another chapter, inking a one-year contract with the Bills. Through the first six games of the 2018 season, Williams has been an impactful player for Buffalo, totaling 12 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
According to Williams, his decision to return came down to his love for the game of football and the Bills organization.
"I love football. I love team," Williams told One Bills Live. "There's nothing like a team. We've got a lot of 21-year-old guys that are closer in age to my oldest daughter than they are to me. What bonds them? You've got 21-year-old guys from inner cities, from the west coast, and you've got a guy from the south who's 35 and has five kids. What bonds and what brings them together is team, and is this game.
"I came back to be a Buffalo Bill and to play for Sean McDermott and to play for my teammates. We talked earlier, there are ups and downs in seasons. We did it last year, up and down, as low as it got and we had to come back up. There are struggles, and you just never know what's out there unless you attack the day and you grind and you get ready, and you just play as hard as you can for as long as you can. At the end of the year, we'll look up and we'll see where we are."
2 - Derek Anderson 'picking up' the offense
The ink on Derek Anderson's one-year deal with the Bills is barely dry. Due to an unforeseen set of circumstances, the quarterback, who signed with the team eight days ago, may find himself thrown under center in just his second week with the team.
The Bills did not sign Anderson in hopes of injecting him into their starting lineup. Instead, the 14-year veteran was brought in to mentor rookie quarterback Josh Allen, whom Buffalo selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft.
The signing of Anderson was motivated by his off-field presence. However, with Allen currently listed as week to week with an elbow injury, Anderson may see his role change. Should Allen be unable to play in Buffalo's Week 7 matchup with the Colts, it will be either Anderson or Nathan Peterman who lines up under center for the Bills.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is comfortable with the idea of starting Anderson. The former Alabama play caller knows that Anderson is working day and night to master Buffalo's offense.
"He's picking it up," Daboll said. "To come off the street and come in, he's upstairs right now, he's upstairs all the time. I don't think you can put the whole thing on him. He's played a long time, so concepts are concepts. It's understanding the language. He's grinding it out."
Anderson's familiarity with a Daboll-run offense is helping him comprehend the Bills' offensive system. Daboll served as Anderson's offensive coordinator in 2009, a season in which the former Pro Bowl quarterback started seven games for the Browns.
"Some [carry over], some," Daboll said. "Again, that's a long time ago, so it's like learning a new language. He's a veteran; he's been around a while.
3 - Sticking to the plan propelled Bills' defensive rebound
A temporary change in play caller seemingly turned Buffalo's struggling defense into one of the league's best.
The defense allowed 75 points and 653 net yards throughout the first six quarters of the 2018 season. This prompted head coach Sean McDermott to take over play-calling duties midway through the team's Week 2 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers, a change that seemingly breathed new life into the unit. The Bills held the Chargers to just 65 offensive yards in the second half.
Play-calling duties have since been returned to defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, and the defense has not let up. Buffalo has allowed only 52 points over the past 18 quarters. They've given up only 1,217 net yards over that stretch.
Even after stumbling out of the gate, Frazier never lost confidence in the defense. According to the veteran coach, simply sticking to the plan allowed the Bills' defense to recover.
"If you believe what you're doing, you can usually get it turned around if you have the right people working around you," Frazier said. "Like I mentioned a moment ago, it's a long season, there are a lot of ups and downs. You just can't push the panic button, and those players understand that as well. If you believe in what you're doing, and you have the right people, you can get it turned in the right direction."
SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY