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Bills Today | Meet the dogs of the Bills defense


1. Meet the dogs of the Bills defense

Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips have been making their impact known on the football field. Both are enjoying the best season of their career and have been vocal and emotional leaders inside the locker room.

"Our role? The dogs, man. The dog in us -- you can't really teach that, coach that," Lawson told ESPN. "You've just got to be born with it. I think me and [Phillips] -- we've got a lot of guys who've got dog in them -- but me and Phil, we're the dog-setters. We set the tone. I feel like that's been a big part of our success this year."

Lawson has a career high 5.5 sacks this season while Phillips has a career-high and team-high 7.5 sacks. Lawson is finally proving himself as the No. 19 overall pick in 2016 while Phillips is thriving with the most snaps of his career.

"That's more motivation. We're out there playing like a dog, we know it's a contract year and things like that -- it's just a big chip on my shoulder," Lawson said.

The two have bought in to head coach Sean McDermott's idea of playing with juice every play.

"For a while, me and Shaq weren't getting very many snaps, so we had to affect the game the way we needed to," Phillips said. "That was bringing juice -- just trying to get everybody into the game and we'd make a few plays every once in a while when we get a chance to. Now we're both balling, we're both making a lot of plays. So, we get to bring not only the juice, but also the playmaking ability."

2. Extra buzz surrounding Sunday night matchup

It's been 12 years since the Bills appeared on Sunday night. With a playoff berth on the line, head coach Sean McDermott can feel the energy in the Bills facilities this week.

"There's good energy," McDermott said on WGR 550. "There's been good energy all year in our building, which is key to success. Having said that, everyone understands that it's a one week at a time approach. You see it every Sunday when you look at the scores. You have to take the right approach, the right focus into each and every week in the NFL."

There will be plenty of yellow towels being waved in the air at the Bills all game but Bills fans are cherishing the moment and bringing red towels to show support for the team in such a hostile environment.

Pittsburgh provides a tough challenge just like Baltimore did last week and Buffalo will be prepared.

"[We have to respect] the process and making sure we detail our work and respect every opponent," McDermott said. "This is certainly a strong opponent this week that's playing very well, and we're going to their place to play in, what should be, a very fun environment."

3. Bills not afraid to match Matt Milano against anyone

A swiss army knife at linebacker, Matt Milano has earned high praise from all his coaches this year. He's recorded a career-high 82 tackles over the first 13 games of the season and a career-best nine passes defensed.

"Being a matchup linebacker is critical. I'm going to tell you now, I haven't watched all the linebackers, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better matchup linebacker than him right now in the NFL. I'm not saying that because I coach him. I'm very honest about the position and I believe that he's as good as there is in the NFL. We have no problems matching him up with anybody," linebackers coach Bob Babich told The Athletic.

Milano, a former safety, is able to take on any matchup due to his unique combination of size and speed.

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