1 - Derek Anderson focusing on Patriots’ defense
Derek Anderson is heading into his third game with the team and it's his biggest as a Buffalo Bill.
The veteran quarterback is set to start the team’s Week 8 contest with the Patriots, a divisional opponent that has dominated Buffalo for much of the 21st century. While Bills-Patriots meetings are always highly-anticipated, there’s a bit of extra excitement surrounding the upcoming game, as it will be played in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football.
Anderson is well aware of the challenges that come with facing off against a Super Bowl-favorite.
“They’re a good football team,” Anderson said. “There’s no question about that. Fortunately, I just have to play their defense. That’s my focus this week. They’ve got a good defense. They’ve got a good scheme to try and take away guys and who they think are going to be our biggest threats and take away the things that we do well. They are a good football team, but I just have to focus on their defense.”
2 - Tre White on Patriots’ versatile offense
While Anderson is “fortunate” that he’ll only have to face the Patriots’ defense on Monday, cornerback Tre’Davious White finds himself in the opposite situation. White and his defensive teammates will have to try to contain Tom Brady and the explosive New England offense, a unit that’s currently ranked as the league’s seventh best.
White is confident in the defense’s ability to stop Brady and company.
“Any time you can go up against one of the best to ever do it, it’s a tremendous challenge,” White said. “But it’s one that we’re looking forward to and hopefully we can go out and give our fans a show and come out with a victory.”
The sophomore defensive back went on to talk about just how multi-faceted the Patriots’ offense is.
“It’s hard because they beat you in so many different ways,” White said. “You stop them one way, they come at you another way. You stop them that way, they come at you a whole different way then. They’ve got so many ways to beat you. We’ve just go to try to limit what they do well and just try to make plays.”
3 - Taron Johnson talks matchup with Julian Edelman
Wide receiver Julian Edelman has made quite an impact since returning to the Patriots’ line up in Week 5. In three games, Edelman has caught 16 passes for 147 yards and two scores.
Nickel cornerback Taron Johnson will be tasked with covering Edelman this week. Though the rookie thinks that Edelman is a unique slot receiver, he welcomes the challenge.
“He invites contact,” Johnson said. “A lot of slot players don’t really want contact as much. He really invites it. He’s a strong player, strong at the top of the route. He’s really good when he has the ball in his hands.”
4 - Micah Hyde ready for primetime: ‘Whole nation’s watching’
Now in his second year with the Bills, safety Micah Hyde is well-acquainted to playing against New England. He’s aware of the pedigree that the Patriots hold, but he’s not letting that intimidate him.
“I think the first time I played them was probably three or four years ago,” Hyde said. “You try to go out there and play your game. Like I said, they’ve done a lot in the past almost two decades, of getting to Super Bowls, winning Super Bowls, playing really good football. You understand that . . . It is what it is but you have to go out there and not overhype yourself, don’t make it bigger than what it is. It’s another football game, go out there and prepare accordingly.”
Hyde is set to play in his first Monday night game in a Bills’ uniform. The defensive back is excited to see the team gain recognition on a national scale.
“I love it. I love primetime games,” Hyde said. “Whole nation’s watching. You can go out and showcase what your team is about, what your defense is about, what yourself is about. I’m excited for it, man, and a lot of guys in this locker room are.”
5 - Harrison Phillips is ‘sure that Bills Mafia will be loud’
Rookie defensive tackle Harrison Phillips was excited to play in front of the raucous Buffalo crowd in the lead up to the team’s 2018 home opener. Now set to play in his first primetime game in a Bills’ uniform, Phillips can’t wait to see how Buffalo fans react.
“I’m kind of scared. I don’t know what to expect,” Phillips said. “No, it will be great. Really excited to get back in our home stadium, see all the fans. I have a bunch of friends and family coming up as well. I’m sure Bills Mafia will be loud and proud.”
6 - Tremaine Edmunds: ‘It’s just another game’
Like Phillips, rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is currently preparing to play in his first primetime game. Although he’s looking forward to the experience, he’s not letting the game’s start time impact his mindset.
“I think I approach it just like another game, and that’s how we have to look at it,” Edmunds said. “Not get too high on it. But it’s definitely going to be exciting, I’m not hiding that at all. Definitely going to be excited. You can definitely feel the energy now, start of the week. I’m excited.”