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Quick Hits | How Sean McDermott applies lessons from past playoff experiences


1. How Sean McDermott applies lessons from past playoff experiences

While Saturday will be the first NFL playoff experience for more than half of Buffalo's 53-man roster, Buffalo's head coach and 25 players have been a part of postseason football before. Coach McDermott in fact has 26 playoff games under his belt and shared some of his most valuable playoff lessons.

"I just think it's important that you stay consistent from a leadership standpoint, from a from a routine standpoint for coaches and players, quite honestly," he said. "Then we double down on the philosophy of what wins. I've been fortunate to have these 26 games and use all that experience and the knowledge and intelligence that I've gleaned from it to help us as we continue to move forward as an organization. That's probably the biggest thing that we'll try and put into place this week."

As for the players who are new to the postseason, McDermott and his staff along with veteran players already have a plan in place on how to guide them through a game where the intensity level will go up another notch from that of the regular season.

"We've got a number of those guys I think we just want to keep it consistent," McDermott said. "Philosophically we believe what we believe. So let's double down on that and let's do our jobs. It comes down to being one 11th and doing our jobs and holding one another accountable, and not letting or not letting each other down. So you work hard all the way through the season and then include this time of year because you don't want to let people down. That's me not wanting to let any of the team down or them not letting wanting to let each other down and so I think there's a good accountability factor with that with our football team."

2. Coaching staff focused on slowing down these Houston playmakers

The Texans might be ranked 28th in total defense, 25th against the run, 29th against the pass and 31st in stopping opponents on third down, but Bills head coach Sean McDermott is more focused on the Houston players who can change the course of a game in preparation for their Wild Card matchup with the Texans on Saturday.

Chief among them is defensive lineman J.J. Watt, whose status is somewhat up in the air as he tries to return from a torn pectoral muscle in his chest.

"I mean you look at their playmakers JJ being one of them, he's just one of many on the defensive side and the offensive side, special teams. They've got quite a few guys that can make plays and he's a game changer he really is," said McDermott. "So is Deshaun (Watson) and (Whitney) Mercilus the same way and the list goes on. So they've got some real game-changing type players on the roster and that in and of itself can be a challenge for us."

Mercilus leads the Texans with 7.5 sacks this season. Watson threw for 26 touchdowns and rushed for seven more in 2019.

3. Did young Bills earn more future opportunities?

The Bills played a host of young players on Sunday against the Jets, as the outcome of the game had no bearing on Buffalo's playoff seeding. Some of the team's reserved players flashed and others shined. After reviewing the film of the game, coach McDermott said they will take the time to evaluate what each of them brought to the game this past weekend.

Whether any of them will earn future opportunities in Buffalo's playoff run remains to be seen.

"We saw some good moments from some of our young players and Duke (Williams), he had some good moments," McDermott said. "There are some other players out there as well so it's something we have to continue to balance and just see who gives we feel gives us the best chance to win."

Other young players who flashed besides Williams included Tommy Sweeney, TJ Yeldon and Darryl Johnson.

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