Quinton Jefferson is in his first season with the Bills, yet even he knew the significance of a victory in Foxborough on Monday. Jefferson spoke with Jerry Hughes on the sideline late during the Bills' 38-9 win, which made them the first AFC East team to sweep the Patriots in a season since 2000.
"He was like, 'Yeah, this is the first time I came down here and won,'" Jefferson said. "Especially in the manner we did. It's pretty cool. You could see, like, the changing of the tide. It's been a fun year. We've just got to keep it going. Just trying to bring Buffalo, bring fans some winning, good quality football."
The victory kept the Bills in the driver's seat for the No. 2 seed in the AFC, which would guarantee multiple home playoff games should they advance beyond the wild-card round. It extended their winning streak to five games for the first time since 2004, the last four of which have come in front of a national audience.
Meanwhile, the hallmarks of Buffalo's balanced roster were apparent all over the field. Andre Roberts opened the Bills' first drive with a 49-yard kick return. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs continued to etch their names in the team record books. The defense held the Patriots without a point during the second half.
Afterward, Jefferson reflected on what it all meant.
"Man, it's crazy," he said. "It's a blessing to even be a part of such a historic run. I just want to keep it going, you know, going into next week and even in the playoffs. But it's dope, man. Just, you look around from top to bottom on the roster – offense, defense, special teams – and, man, there's just a lot of talent.
"This is hands down the most talented roster I've ever been a part of. We've just got to capitalize on the time now. You don't get too many rosters like this and it's hard to keep them, especially with so many young players. So, I mean, right now I feel like everybody's zeroed in and we've got to just take ahold of this moment."
Here are more of the top reactions to yet another milestone Bills win in 2020.
"It's a big win for our organization"
Unlike Jefferson, Jordan Poyer has been a part of the one-sided rivalry that saw the Patriots capture 11 straight AFC East titles prior to this season. The safety spoke afterward about recognizing that significance while still keeping an eye on the bigger picture.
"Look, this is a team that's been at the top of the AFC for 25 years now," Poyer said. "The last time we swept the Patriots was 1999. And I've never won in Foxborough. I know a lot of the guys here have never won in Foxborough. So it was coming out here with the right mindset, understanding the circumstances, and we came to play obviously.
"…. I don't want to say it was a statement win or anything like that. At the same time, just continuing to get better, and understanding our goals and how they're trying to attack us. And I feel we did a good job today."
Micah Hyde – who joined the Bills along with Poyer in 2017 – echoed his fellow safety in terms of the victory's personal significance.
"We knew coming in that, you know, this is still a Bill Belichick-coached football team (and) that, it doesn't matter what their record this, they're going to come fighting," he said. "To get the win here is huge. This is my first win ever coming here. There's a lot of guys in the locker room that this is their first win. It's a big win for our organization."
"It's like they're playing Madden out there"
Hyde opened up his session with the media with a shoutout to the duo of Allen and Diggs, who further cemented their All-Pro cases with yet another memorable performance. Allen passed for 320 yards and tossed four touchdowns to break Jim Kelly's single-season Bills record while Diggs hauled in 145 yards and three scores as he surpassed Eric Moulds for most receiving yards in a season.
"I got a front-row seat," Hyde said. "I got a free ticket to watch them play. Man, it's impressive. To see them, it's like they're playing Madden out there. They're gelling together. It's awesome to see."
Hyde went on to say the duo reminded him of another lethal combination he played with in Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.
"I've been fortunate enough to be on some pretty good teams with some very talented players," he said. "I don't want you guys to think I'm comparing Josh to Aaron Rodgers. I'm not saying that. Obviously both very talented players.
"Josh has a long way to go to get to what Aaron has been able to accomplish in the league, but watching the A-Rod and Jordy days, just the way they gelled together and just found each other, that's what it looks like out there. It's very impressive to see."
"We are the Buffalo Bills and we're here to play"
While the victory left little doubt regarding who stands atop the AFC East, Hughes said the mindset stays the same moving forward.
"Chip on your shoulder, target on your back – it stays the same," he said. "You understand that there's always someone gunning for you. We understand that even from a position standpoint. The guys in the D-line room want to take my spot, so you know it's always competition. We're never afraid of that. But the chip on your shoulder never leaves.
"Until we bring back a Lombardi Trophy and a bunch of other accolades to Orchard Park, that chip is going to stay just because that's who we are. People don't respect us, they don't expect for us to do the things that we do. We've got a quarterback that's been barely sacked and no offensive linemen in the Pro Bowl. We've got a slot that's killing it and he doesn't get a Pro Bowl. We've got guys who are talented and still aren't getting the respect around this league that they deserve. So that's just going to be there until they understand that we are the Buffalo Bills and we're here to play."