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'This will be a pivotal moment' | Bills players remain confident despite the loss

Jordan Poyer (21) Buffalo Bills vs Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium, September 12, 2021. Photo by Bill Wippert
Jordan Poyer (21) Buffalo Bills vs Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium, September 12, 2021. Photo by Bill Wippert

A loss is never the desired outcome for a football team, but the Bills players understand that this game does not define their 2021 season. 

The Bills have not lost confidence in themselves after the 23-16 loss to the Steelers. This game showed the team their strengths and weaknesses and outlined what they need to work on this week in practice. Team captain Micah Hyde understands they can't hang their heads too low after the loss and will instead focus on correcting mistakes and getting themselves ready for the next matchup in Miami. 

"Win or loss there's another team waiting for you the next week", Hyde said. "It's a challenge each and every week. That's what we get paid to do. Win or lose, be back in the lab the next day, get your body right, start the film prep for the next team and go from there."

The Bills struggled to get going on offense against a tough Steelers defense. The team didn't help themselves with four holding penalties throughout the game and two turnovers on downs. Center Mitch Morse saw this as a reality check, but he knows that this team will put in the work to bounce back from this tough loss. 

"I think it's a great gut check," Morse said. "Very frustrating, but we also know this a great opportunity to learn quite a bit. Like I said before, intrinsically look into what you can do to keep Josh cleaner, get the guys in the backfield better lanes to run, and go from there."

The Bills focused on a heavy passing attack against Pittsburgh with Allen going 30-51 for 270 yards and a touchdown. Allen said after the game that there were a lot of plays he wish he had back. One of those was a pass to Cole Beasley that was tipped at the line by Cam Heyward. Beasley still had eight receptions for 60 yards and although the result of the game wasn't what the team envisioned; Beasley doesn't think any less of what Buffalo is capable of after the week one loss.  

"There's not a loss of confidence at all," Beasley said. "Part of it was a good job by them, but we know we didn't play our best. Offensively, we've got to be a lot better than that. We know what we have with this group. So, there's not going to be any drop in confidence. We're still going to go out there and try and score 40 every game. We feel like we can accomplish that if we play how we can."

The Bills defense held the Steelers scoreless throughout the first half but lost momentum throughout the second half after two consecutive turnovers on downs and a blocked punt. Buffalo's defense sacked Ben Roethlisberger twice and had five tackles for loss during the game. There was added pressure from the defensive line but not enough to take down Roethlisberger down more often. Tyler Matakevich believes that this game will be an influential steppingstone for the rest of their 2021 campaign.

"This will be a pivotal moment, I think," Matakevich said. "Just to get the season started, I mean it's a long year. One game definitely does not define your season, but we definitely got some work to do. We'll go back to the drawing board, we'll look at all of our mistakes, we'll make adjustments, we'll make changes, learn from it, and get better. I mean that's honestly the only thing you can do at a moment like this."