Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer sat down together in front of the blue Buffalo Bills scrim after the Bills' 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Fans are used to seeing the two side-by-side. Their chemistry is undeniable both on and off the football field with the two wrapping up their seventh season as one of the top safety tandems in the NFL.
Through the years, the two have ridden the highs and the lows of Buffalo's postseason fortune. They came in together, young but experienced veterans, and were part of a movement within the building that snapped a 17-year playoff drought.
"We had planned when we came in here that we really wanted to change this culture, change this organization into a winning program and you could argue and say that we have," Poyer said from the podium. "I mean we've gone to the playoffs the last six out of the seven years out here and that's an accomplishment in itself. Obviously, you want to win the Super Bowl, but prior to us being here, I mean a lot of guys being here in Buffalo hadn't gone to the playoffs in 17 years."
Despite finishing as the No. 2 seed in the AFC, the Bills overcame a wave of injuries that flooded the defensive side of the ball in particular throughout the season. The pair missed four combined games themselves, but after Hyde missed all but the first two weeks of the 2022 season, the two were able to remain healthy and lead a defense that played at a high level for much of the season.
"I'm extremely proud of the guys in the locker room, you know, to be at 6-6 and fight our way back is incredible," Hyde said. "It obviously isn't our goal to lose in the second round but extremely proud of the guys."
This season served as a testament to the Buffalo Bills' resilience, a word used countless times by head coach Sean McDermott and other leaders on the defense. Hyde reflected on the difficult journey that each season presents.
"Losing in the playoffs is always tough, no matter who it is," Hyde said. "Been in this league a long time and you realize how hard it is to make it back here."
"We work so hard throughout the season to fight and claw back, you know, our backs against the wall and everybody doubting us midway through the season and we get here, just that close, it is tough. It's something to learn from for sure," Poyer said.
While the defense allowed 361 total yards — over 50 yards more than their season average — they put together consecutive stops, a fumble at the goal line that resulted in a touchback and a punt. Poyer caused the fumble, his second forced fumble of the season.
"I wouldn't want to say it's a swing, it was a good play in the game. Whether you want to say it was a swing or not, the game was just going back and forth really all day," Poyer said. "Ultimately, they made one more play than us."
The list of plays that Hyde and Poyer have made for the Bills is extensive, but their impact transcends the product they put together on the field. Earlier in the season, as the Bills prepared for their regular season game against the Chiefs, Allen referenced Hyde and Poyer as leaders on the team worthy of being relied upon when games weren't going Buffalo's way.
"You rely on the leaders on this team, you rely on Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, you rely on Mitch Morse and Stefon Diggs and guys that have been in these situations before," Allen said.
Through the elation of defeating Miami in Week 18 to clinch the division, through the crushing defeat of watching Patrick Mahomes take the final kneel to run out the clock, Hyde and Poyer clearly have sustained something special.
"We're forever indebted to each other and we're brothers on and off the field," Hyde said.
"He's my brother, man. My teammate, my right-hand man," said Poyer.