1 - The most meaningful playoff berth for Hyde
Some Bills players haven't played postseason football in their NFL careers, but that's not the case for Micah Hyde. He's gone to the playoffs in each of his five seasons. Though, this year's trip holds extra significance.
"Oh it's 10 times more exciting," said Hyde. "The way we got in, watching the game after our game, it was one of the greatest sports moments I've ever been a part of."
Hyde, who was drafted by the Packers in 2013, went to the playoffs in all four seasons in Green Bay. It's expected that the Packers make it to the postseason each season. They've played past the regular season 13 times since 1999. The Packers made eight straight postseason trips from 2009-2016, but will be absent from this year's festivities following a 7-9 season.
Coincidentally, Hyde leaves Green Bay and they miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Then, he comes to Buffalo and in his first year they make the postseason for the first time since 1999. All that and more is a recipe for Hyde's most meaningful playoff berth in his five-year career.
"Being a part of this football team and knowing all the circumstances of not being to the playoffs in 17 years, coach McDermott's first year, it's supposed to be a rebuilding year, early in the season we were so called tanking," said Hyde. "The fact that we pushed through all that adversity, the trades, and still be in the position we're in it just shows the guys we have in this locker room and the coaching staff we have."
2 - Keeping composure against chirping Jaguars
It's no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars have a dominant defense. They're ranked at the top of the NFL in most defensive categories, and with that apparently comes the top trash-talking team in the league.
"I think two things are at play there. Number one, yes we've got to play smart," head coach Sean McDermott said of the upcoming matchup for his offense. "Then number two is they're ranked high in every category so they have all the right to brag and be in that type of mindset. So it'll be a big challenge for us as a football team."
The Jags 'D' ranks in the top-two in the following categories: points allowed per game (16.8), sacks (55), opponents average passing yards per game (169.9), and opponents yards per game (286.1).
They have every reason to be a confident bunch. As the Bills prepare for this weekend's Wild Card matchup, they've noticed the Jags trash-talking tendencies.
"We saw it on film, that's fine," said Eric Wood. "There are a lot of guys who talk in this league. It's just part of the game."
The Bills will have to be on top of their game to knock off the AFC South champions. McDermott and his staff have expressed the importance of keeping the trash talk to the side.
"Be smart; don't put the team in any position to hurt us negatively. Just be poised, play within the game, no extracurricular stuff after the whistle or anything like that," said Zay Jones. "That's not really the type of players that we are anyways. It's just really being us, not trying to do anything extra."
3 - Shady's jersey sales skyrocket
On Sundays at New Era Field, you can't blink without seeing a LeSean McCoy jersey. After the Bills ended their 17-year playoff drought, more McCoy jerseys are flying off the shelves.
He ranks 21st in this week's best-selling player jerseys, according to DICK's Sporting Goods Jersey Report. That's up 10 spots from last week's rankings.
Additionally, quarterback Tyrod Taylor has seen an increase in jersey sales this week. He currently ranks 50th, which is 40 spots higher than last week.
On the season, McCoy has the 30th most-sold jersey in the NFL. That's the highest of any Bills player. There will be a lot of Bills fans rocking their number 25 jerseys on Sunday, but hopefully McCoy himself will be able to throw a jersey over his shoulder pads and play.
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