1. Why Jordan Poyer credits Matt Barkley for his NFL career
Jordan Poyer was an accomplished two-sport start in college at Oregon State in football and baseball. In fact, Poyer was a 42nd round draft choice of the Florida Marlins in 2009. But the Bills safety points to a seminal moment in his college athletic career where he decided if he was going to be a professional athlete it was going to be in football.
Poyer had an interception return for a touchdown in a night game against USC, and it was then that he determined that football would be his professional path.
What many didn't realize is that his current teammate, QB Matt Barkley, was the USC quarterback who threw him the interception.
And more than once, Poyer has told Barkley jokingly that he deserves a lot of credit for his professional football career.
"I've brought it up to him yes," Poyer confirmed. "Actually we got drafted to Philly together. So, I was in Philadelphia with him. And I brought it up to him there I'm always bringing it up to him telling him, 'Hey, you're the reason why I'm here.' That feeling (on that interception) was pretty good and I appreciate it."
Poyer still marvels at how his professional path with Barkley has crossed more than once in their respective careers and he's grateful for it.
"It's crazy," he said. "This game has done so many great things for me, myself and my family. And just the way that it's aligned itself. I've been extremely blessed and thankful to be in this position right here. I've have had some lucky bounces, but you know work extremely hard to get where I'm at and, you know, it's just a history lesson."
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2. Game remains the top focus for the players
The Bills enter Saturday's game at Denver needing a victory to clinch not only a playoff berth, but the AFC East title as well. It would be the first division championship for the Bills franchise since 1995.
QB Josh Allen understands the significance of winning the division, and admits it was a goal for the team at the outset of the 2020 season, but it can't change their weekly focus.
"I think as players, we know that, we understand it," Allen said of the opportunity to clinch the division Saturday. "But that being said, there's three games left. It's not just end all, be all, we won the AFC East, let's celebrate. That was our goal. That's been our goal. That's the easiest way to get to the playoffs is by winning your division. It's no small task, I'll take that. But we set our goal to have a home playoff game and that just secures that one, that one right to do so again. It's not the end all, be all. It's a step in the right direction and we've got to continue to keep working hard."
Buffalo has won six of their last seven games, with their only loss being the Week 10 defeat at Arizona that was lost on a 'Hail Mary' play at the end of the game.
3. How Bills passing game navigates the lulls in play
As prolific as Buffalo's passing game has been through the course of the 2020 season, they have experienced lulls in their play at times. After 13 games, the men on the Bills offense have come to learn how to work their way through stretches in games where they make not be perfectly in sync.
Last week's game against Pittsburgh was a perfect example. Things weren't clicking much at all in the first half, but the group didn't stress about it. They just kept at it and eventually things came together.
"I feel like throughout that game we had some lulls and had some highs," said Stefon Diggs. "Early in the game we were all just trying to catch a rhythm to kind of work back to try to push in that positive energy especially to our teammates and to everybody on offense. So we just said we have to shake it off. We might be going through a little slump, but we have to shake it off, and before you know it, we started having a little bit of success. For me I'm just trying to make plays and catch the ball, do my job, but not only be the positive energy, but be a spark."
Diggs certainly proved to be that in the second half as he had six receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown on back-to-back touchdown drives to start the second half in the 26-15 win over the Steelers.