With a win on Saturday against the Broncos (5-8), the Bills will be crowned AFC East champions for the 11th time in franchise history and the first time since 1995. Twenty five years in the longest drought for a division title in franchise history and currently the third-longest in NFL history behind the Detroit Lions (27) and the Cleveland Browns (28). Everybody in the Bills organization understands the importance of what winning the division would mean to the city of Buffalo. But that isn't a distraction for the team as they continue to prepare for a tough matchup against the Denver Broncos. Josh Allen said that winning the division has been a goal for them, but they have an even bigger goal in mind that they need to keep working toward.
"I think as players, we know that, and we understand it," Allen stated. "But that being said, there are three games left. It's not the end all be all, 'we won the AFC East, let's celebrate'. That was our goal and that's been our goal. The easiest way to get to the playoffs is by winning your division and it's no small task, I'll tell you that. But we set our goal to have a home playoff game and that just secures that one right to do so again. It's not the end all be all, but it's a step in the right direction and we've got to continue to keep working hard."
"We don't care what the record is, we know this is a good football team"
The Denver Broncos (5-8) and Drew Lock are coming off of one of their most complete wins of the season. Last week, Lock went 21-27 for 280 yards and four touchdowns and their offense scored 32 points. When the Bills and the Broncos met up late in the season last year, Lock did not play in that game. But through their film study, the Bills defenders know that he is a fighter and a competitor. Micah Hyde talked about all the different playmakers the Broncos have on offense and what they can do to stop them.
"The number one thing is that [Drew Lock] he's a competitor," Hyde said. "He's been out of two games but at the same time in the games, he's been in, he's been out there fighting. I don't really care what the record is. It's the same thing each and every week, we don't care what the record is, we know this is a good football team. They got weapons outside, obviously, with the two rookie receivers and [Noah Fant], he's an Iowa guy, and those Iowa guys are studs. They've got a running game with two really good running backs, so their just another talented offense and it starts with [Lock]. He's able to make any throw on the field so, we understand if we get pressure in his face and get pressure on him, at times he turns the ball over. That's with a lot of quarterbacks in this league, get pressure on them a little bit and get in their face, they turn the ball over. That's something we're going to try to create but at the same time we understand that he's competitive, and he's gonna keep giving it to us."
"It's gonna be another test for us, their defense is definitely impressive"
The Broncos defense has seen many key players go down due to injury this season but still have the 10th ranked passing defense in the league and have the best red-zone defense in the league. With two veteran safeties in Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson, this is another week where the Bills offense will have to be ready to compete. Stefon Diggs has high praise for the Broncos defense and knows the Bills have another challenge ahead of them.
"They are great upfront and there is no slack in the backend," Diggs said. "I think Justin [Simmons] is one their safeties that is very active and gets his hands on the ball. You got Kareem Jackson back there who is known to put the pads on guys, he hits guys, and they fly around. So, they definitely are active on the back end, and they got a hell of a front. It's gonna be another test for us because I feel like their defense is definitely impressive. I haven't seen too much on offense, but I know there are so many young guys over there that can ball as well. So, it's another week for us to get better and see where we are as a team. We are trying to put our best foot forward with another short week, everybody's trying to get their bodies back and get ready to go because we got another challenge ahead of us."
Scroll through to see the best photos from Buffalo's practice as they prepare for Week 15 against the Denver Broncos, presented by Tim Hortons.
"Wherever he's gone, he's improved defenses"
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is in his second year as head coach of the team, but he has been coaching in the NFL since 1986. Fangio won the Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2018 when he was the Bears defensive coordinator and coached that defense up to be one of the best units in the league. He is very well respected around the NFL and Sean McDermott has the utmost respect for him after what Fangio did for him early on in his career.
"Tremendous respect for Vic [Fangio]," McDermott stated. "This is a funny industry where some people share, and some people don't. And Vic was a guy that really helped me earlier on in my career. Just by being open and willing to teach a young guy that was truly curious about his system and how he's had so much success over the years. Now you look wherever he's gone, he's improved defenses. I have a lot of respect for that, in particular Vic, with a guy that has that but also really doesn't have an ego."