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Bills prepare to be "mentally tough" as high expectations surround team ahead of Week 1

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Posted at 8:49 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 20:52:34-04

ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW) — Everyone knows there's high expectations surrounding this Bills team, but as their Week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers approaches, all focus is on their first opponent and nothing else.

"In order to win the whole thing, you gotta get to the playoffs and in order to get to the playoffs, you gotta win 10 or 11 games," quarterback Josh Allen said. "The most important one is the next one. To be honest, I couldn't tell you who we play next. It's been all of them [Steelers] for the last few weeks now."

"We've gotta be mentally tough in our approach," head coach Sean McDermott added. "Our focus in on our process and insulate ourselves as much as we can from all that other noise that is outside the building."

The Bills are familiar with the Steelers, playing them in both the 2019 and 2020 regular season. While knowing your opponent helps, it doesn't translate to getting a win as the past doesn't matter in this league.

"Last year is over. We can't translate those wins," wide receiver Stefon Diggs said. "But what we can do is take what we did from the good side of it and translate it to this year and the things we didn't do well, keep it in the forefront of your mind. If we didn't do x, y, z, well, let's make sure that's one point of emphasis going into the year and week one we can only start there."

Several of last season's starters are back for the 2021 season, which goes a long way when it comes to consistency.

"Micah and I, half the time, we play just playing off of each other," safety Jordan Poyer said. "We get a call and and we play a lot off of each other and that's with everyone within our system, all the back seven. We're connected so well and we want to show that on Sunday."

Heading into the team's first game, the confidence level is high despite the noise that will be back inside Highmark Stadium for the first time during the regular season since 2019. Fans will be back in the stands, hoping to provide the team some extra juice, and the players are already looking forward to what they assume will be a rowdy atmosphere.

"I know they're excited, but as players, we're equally excited to have them back in the stands," Allen said. "They'll have an impact on the game whether they know it or not. If you can force one false start, or one delay of game, or one penalty, that can change the course of the game."

"I think it's gonna be crazy. It's gonna be loud," Diggs added. "That's what people have been talking about all week."

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