ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. [WKBW] — Winning the AFC East has been the goal for the Buffalo Bills since before the season even began.
"We haven't won the division, and to me, that's the goal we have to do, because we need to host playoff games here in Orchard Park, and the only way we get a chance to do that is if we win the division,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said on September 7th before the regular season began. “We haven't been able to take down the Patriots yet, nobody has since we've been here, so that’s still the team we’re chasing.”
Earlier today the #Bills announced Levi Wallace has been designated to return from IR. A promising sign that he was out at practice today participating in the drills we're allowed to see @WKBW pic.twitter.com/8DMuJPaGGL— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) October 28, 2020
On Sunday, the Bills will go against their division rivals in New England for the first time this season, yet head coach Sean McDermott doesn’t want to look at the AFC East outlook, he just wants to focus on his Week 8 opponent.
“We’re focused on one game right now,” McDermott said. “We’re in October, late October, early November and that’s really what we’re focused on right now.”
You can’t blame McDermott for trying to block out the noise. For decades, the Patriots have dominated the division and it appears the tides are starting to turn. Heading into Sunday’s matchup, the Patriots have lost three straight games for the first time since 2002. The Bills on the other hand are 5-2 and sitting at the top of the division.
“We’re not trying to make it a bigger deal or a smaller deal than what it needs to be, our goal is to win every game we play, we’re not going out there to lose,” quarterback Josh Allen said Wednesday. “So, as I said, we’re focusing on this week and trying to execute on Sunday.”
Since joining the Bills neither Allen or McDermott have beaten the Patriots. On Sunday, the Bills are favored by 3.5 points at most sportsbooks and betting websites around the country. Despite the odds, the Bills know their foes from Foxborough won’t go down without a fight.
“We know we’re going to have our hands full,” safety Jordan Poyer added. “It’s a good football team, but, we definitely need to come in with the right mindset because we definitely feel like we owe them one.”
But not every Bills player has been here for the years of losses. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs said he’s heard about the previous matchups with the Patriots but doesn’t think it should be something the team focuses on this week.
“We’re trying to make a turn for it, trying to be 1-0, but I have heard a couple of things, I know the Patriots were the team to beat for a long time in this division.”