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'Eight wins does not get you in the playoffs' | How the Bills plan to build their own legacy this month

Tremaine Edmunds (49) and A.J. Klein (54). Buffalo Bills Week 13 practice, December 2, 2020. Photo by Bill Wippert
Tremaine Edmunds (49) and A.J. Klein (54). Buffalo Bills Week 13 practice, December 2, 2020. Photo by Bill Wippert

The Bills now have started consecutive seasons with an 8-3 record. While their records are the same through 12 weeks, there are multiple differences between the 2019 and the 2020 Buffalo Bills. Every year and every season brings new challenges that the team will have to be ready to face. 

Sean McDermott talked about how every year brings a new football team and said he likes where the team is headed. 

"Every year is different; every year is a new team," McDermott stated. "And so, I like where we are, I like the way we're improving through the course of the season. I think there always is a gap between where we are and where we're trying to get to. I think that's having the right attitude, that's being curious about how we can close that gap and being curious about chasing excellence. So, knowing that we'll never get there but we're always in pursuit of it, I think that's a healthy approach and that's really where we are with this year's team, last year is in the past."

"You can learn from any year, not just last year"

Cole Beasley is a tenured veteran in this league and has played a lot of football games in his career. He has drawn from many of his past experiences to make him the player he is now. Having another year with Josh Allen has really helped the two with their timing and chemistry, and Beasley said watching film allows him to learn and grow into being a better player. 

"You can learn from any year, not just last year," Beasley explained. "I mean you can even learn from some of the stuff that we've done this year. Every time we watch film is an opportunity for us to learn something new and get better. There's never a point in time where you just know it all or you're the best you can ever be. I feel like you can always get better, no matter what, no matter how many years you play in the league. Really the best teacher is experience, every year that we've had up to this moment has helped us in some way and each day is going to do that for us."

Beasley has been extremely dependable for Allen and this offense as a pass-catcher throughout the two seasons he has been in Buffalo. He also showed Sunday against the Chargers that he can use his arm as a weapon as well.

"Last year was a different football team"

In 2019 after the 8-3 start, the team went 2-3 to finish up the season. This season the team has bigger goals in sight and the first step in that is winning the division. In order to accomplish that, the team has to take care of business week in and week out. Tremaine Edmunds talked about how the team isn't looking back, instead, they are looking forward and are preparing to earn their ninth win Monday against the 49ers. 

"To be honest with you we are not looking back at all, we just looking forward. I mean we've learned stuff from last year, but I mean last year was a different football team. We got different guys here this year so now we just focus on getting past that stuff. So, if we are looking back any, it's getting past that, and now actually winning when we get to that point. But right now, we still got a long way to go, and we are still taking it a game at a time. We are just looking forward and we are just preparing ourselves to get ready for the next game."

"We got to find ways to go 1-0 this week and the week after"

One of the biggest differences from where the Bills were last season to this season is the growth and maturity of Josh Allen. He has had the opportunity to go into his third season with the same coaching staff and that has given him the chance to grow in McDermott and Daboll's offensive system. Even though he is still in his third year as a pro, Allen has 39 games to learn from and as Beasley said, the best teacher is experience. Allen explained how this team can learn from adversity but still having the 1-0 mindset every week. 

"I mean just knowing what to expect," Allen said. "And we still got a lot of good teams on our schedule and we've got to go out each and every week and have that 1-0 mindset. Eight games does not get you in the playoffs, we've got to go out there and we've got to find ways to go 1-0 this week and the week after. Our focus is on the Niners and what we can do just going out there, having a good week of practice, trusting the game plan and what's being called and just going out there executing and doing our job."