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'Whatever it takes to win' | Bills work to define their identity 

Stefon Diggs (14), Emmanuel Sanders (1). Buffalo Bills Week 9 practice, November 3, 2021. Photo by Bill Wippert
Stefon Diggs (14), Emmanuel Sanders (1). Buffalo Bills Week 9 practice, November 3, 2021. Photo by Bill Wippert

The Bills enter week nine with an offense that ranks first in points scored per game (32.7) and a defense that ranks first in points allowed per game (15.6). After coming off a win against Miami where the offense took some time to find their rhythm, the team is confident they can win in a myriad of ways.

Whether it be by one score or multiple scores, these players only care about getting the win and getting better each week. No matter what the outcome, the players know it's a week-to-week league and will be prepared to put their last game behind them and come to work with a fresh mindset. The team will travel to Jacksonville for Sunday's game at 1 pm with this mindset when the Bills face the 1-6 Jaguars.

Stefon Diggs has become a vocal leader for the team this season and has been a big addition to the culture of the Bills. Diggs feels like the maturity of this team can take them a long way.

"I feel like we can weather the storm," Diggs said. "I feel like they build the right kind of guys here. We got the right kind of team here. When things are good, they're good. When things aren't as good, nobody's getting low, nobody's hanging their head, and nobody's feeling sorry for themselves."

Throughout a season and even a single game, this team prides itself on being able to keep its emotions balanced. The highs never get too high and the lows never too low. They are always in the worker mindset where they know there are always things to improve on.

Jordan Poyer has helped instill that hard-working mindset into this team since he arrived in Buffalo in 2017. That season ended in Jacksonville on a 10-3 playoff loss to the Jaguars in a season that would end the 17-year playoff drought. A lot has changed from that season, but a lot has stayed the same. That continuity of the core group of guys has led to the success of this Bills team and Poyer believes it all stems from hard work.

"We've been grinding in the same house since 2017, trying to give ourselves a chance in the postseason to get a ring," Poyer said. "We're still grinding it out, still right in the thick of it. So, we want to continue to do that, and continue to work hard."

The Bills have started 5-2 in four out of the five seasons that Sean McDermott has been the head coach of the team. They know that the best way to host playoff games is to win the division - which the team accomplished in 2020. The only way to win the division is to score points and win games. With the amount of talent on the offensive side of the ball, Stefon Diggs knows that they can be multi-dimensional and score in multiple different ways.

"I feel like we're the jack of all trades a little bit," Diggs said. "This year we can mix it up. I feel like we've got a lot of depth, a lot of guys who can do different things. We've got some playmakers. We got some guys in the backfield. We got a quarterback that can run. Having a mobile quarterback really adds an element to your team, because you've got to account for your quarterback as well, taking off on foot."

Jordan Poyer isn't underestimating Trevor Lawrence

This is the second time this season the Bills will go up against a rookie quarterback. McDermott has a 5-1 record against rookie QBs since 2017. Trevor Lawrence was selected number one overall by the Jaguars this past spring and has had some ups and downs to start his rookie year. Lawrence has completed 59.6% of his passes and has thrown for 1,703 yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions. Jordan Poyer has been reviewing Lawrence's tape this week and knows they will have to throw a lot at him.

"A lot of upside in Trevor," Poyer said. "He's a tall quarterback. He's got a very strong arm. He's extremely athletic for his size. And so, he's got a lot of talented football players around him right now. I think they're the second or third in yards per carry in the league right now so, we got our hands full."

Stefon Diggs discusses the importance of talking about mental health

After practice, Stefon Diggs was asked about his thoughts on wide receiver Calvin Ridley's decision to step away from the Falcons to focus on his mental health. Diggs noted that with his younger brothers, he used to be a tough-love kind of guy. But he's realized that sometimes all you can give is love and support because you don't know how hard someone is internally battling with something. There is immense pressure on athletes to be at 100% all the time and that's just not how humans are wired. Diggs is proud of Ridley and saluted him for his decision.

"Something that I can handle, somebody else might not be able to handle," Diggs said. "So being responsible, and I feel like taking care of your mental, taking care of your chicken, as Marshawn (Lynch) would say, is smart for you and good for you. It's good for you, it's good for your family, it's good for your surroundings because when you're in a bad headspace and you're at your job and you are kinda not in the best place, you might not be your best self. And when you're not your best self, you ain't helping nobody."