**1 – Pro Bowl snub leaves Brown disenchanted
Based solely on performance this season, Bills linebacker Zach Brown seemed like a lock to make his first career Pro Bowl roster.
However, Brown was snubbed and left off the roster, with Dont'a Hightower of the Patriots and C.J. Mosley of the Ravens getting the nod at inside linebacker for the AFC.
"As a kid you at least want to go once," Brown said. "You work hard for it you know, you play hard. You care more about winning than anything, but I was like, 'Man it would be cool to go to.' But then I thought about it and I was like 'We still have a chance to make it to the playoffs.'"
Brown is first in the AFC in tackles, with 130 tackles and is having by far the best season of his career. He also has four sacks, two forced fumbles, seven QB hits and 11 tackles for a loss.
The five-year veteran is a free agent after this season, and with already 37 more tackles this season than at any other point in his career, he is sure to become a hot commodity in the offseason.
Brown said that while the snub has given him extra motivation, he hasn't lost sight of the bigger picture.
"Just another chip I have to put on my shoulder so I can prove to everybody year in and year out that they made a mistake," Brown said. "It's a mistake, it's stuff bigger than that. For me, now it's put in the perspective that it's a popularity contest and you move on and you want to win it all. You want to go to the Super Bowl, you don't want to be in the Pro Bowl."
2 – Mario laying low
Mario Williams is treating his return to Buffalo as just another game.
After posting double-digit sack totals in his first three seasons with the Bills, his production dropped off in 2015. In 15 games, he had only 19 tackles and five sacks. He was released by the Bills in the offseason and ended his relationship with the organization on some rocky terms after publicly disagreeing with head coach Rex Ryan's defensive scheme.
Williams was hoping for a fresh start in Miami, but has seen similar struggles. He's battled injuries and benchings to start only five games with 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks. In Williams' first meeting against the Bills in Week 7, he only recorded two tackles and played in only 32 defensive snaps.
Williams was cordial when speaking to reporters about his time in Buffalo, but also said that he truly enjoys playing for the Dolphins.
"Well, here in Miami the biggest thing is it's just a great atmosphere," Williams said. "Starting from the top to the bottom with our coaching staff and all the way down to us as players, we just really enjoy coming into work every day. We enjoy being around each other and going out there in practice and everything else that goes with it."
The Dolphins are sitting at 9-5 and currently are sitting in the second Wild Card spot in the AFC. Williams is looking to make his first playoff appearance in his 11-year career.
"I'm motivated just as much as I would say I'm motivated to go to the playoffs the first game of the year because in order for us to get there we have to win the game we have right now," Williams said. "So we have to take care of this one game no matter who the opponent is."
Ryan, for his part, said that he enjoyed his one year coaching Williams and that some of what went on was overblown.
"I like Mario," Ryan said. "I thought he was a good guy. I don't think there's any doubt. I think sometimes when you're making the money that he was making the expectations were huge. And sometime it takes away from how you just want him to play. And I think whether it's with Mario or some other players, I think that that's tough to do. And it seems like you're put on the defensive a lot instead of just going out and being able to enjoy what you've always done, which is play. But I like Mario. I thought he was a really good guy and I'll tell you what, he's a good teammate."
The number one overall pick is still ranked fifth in the NFL in sacks since he entered the league in 2006 with 97.5.
**3 – Gilmore's play peaking
After an uncharacteristically slow start to the season, Stephon Gilmore has rebounded with the play the Bills have come to expect from him.
He has been one of the main reasons the Bills haven't allowed a passing touchdown the past two weeks, shadowing the top two targets of those games, Terrelle Pryor and Antonio Brown. He didn't shadow Brown until late in the game when the Bills went to an eight-man front to stop Le'Veon Bell.
Brown had five catches for 48 yards in Week 14, but his 40-yard catch came when Ronald Darby was covering him. Meanwhile, Pryor was limited to four catches for 19 yards last week.
"All of us went in and we know he has that type of talent, and that's what we needed for our football team, and he took the challenge," Ryan said. "He's just playing. And he's playing as good as there is right now. I mean this last month, maybe even more than that, he's been outstanding. And that's why I can't wait to see him play these next two weeks. And obviously we're putting a lot on his plate. But he's done a great job."
Gilmore is tied for second in the NFL with five interceptions, and was rewarded for his play by being named a second alternate in the Pro Bowl.
This week, Gilmore said that the game plan doesn't call for him to follow Jarvis Landry around the field and the Bills will revert to their usual left and right side positioning for their cornerbacks.
"Whatever the coaches ask me to do," Gilmore said. "But I'm basically comfortable doing anything at this point. It's another must-win game, so I just want to do what will help us get the win."