The last time the Bills won three games in September was 2011.
Just like this year, the third win was over a big time team–the Patriots. Just like this year, the next game was a road trip to Cincinnati.
That season, the Bills lost to the Bengals on their way to a 6-10 season. It’s something that’s come up in the Bills locker room this week.
“The great part about this team is we have a ton of leaders that make their presence known in and around the building and in the locker room in particular,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said. “They lead by example, and then verbally as well. Those guys (who were here in 2011) have made it very clear what it was like years ago.”
There are only four players remaining from that 2011 team: Cordy Glenn, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Eric Wood.
“I think that year the injury bug caught up to us,” Wood said. “I think our attention to detail and work ethic now is probably a little better than it was then.”
McDermott discussed how the Bills need to handle winning this week by falling back on many of his quickly popular catch phrases, including “sticking to the process”.
His team is listening.
“I think it starts top down,” Micah Hyde said. “Somebody like Sean coming and repeating it to us every day. We have nothing to hang our hats on right now. We haven’t made it to the playoffs. It’s not week 17.
“The season’s still early. We’re only going into the 5th game. Nobody gets crowned champs in five games. We just gotta stay with it,” LeSean McCoy said.
Lorenzo Alexander says the Bills must guard against letting their preparation get routine. Successful teams continue seeking out ways to get better.
“We all have a little weakness in our game from week to week that teams try to exploit that following week. And if you don’t continue to stay on top of those things, be a professional and continue to work on those things, eventually somebody is going to figure you out and get you,” Alexander said. “That’s why I think you see a lot of times, even with young players. Young players have early success and then, maybe after week five or week six, teams start to figure them out and now it turns on them quickly.”
The Bills have not forgotten they play in a “what have you done for me lately” league.
“If we go out there and lay an egg at any game in the future, people are going to be talking about that,” Hyde said.
Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that the Bills are an underdog this week in Vegas. It’s a role they love to embrace.
“Everyone in this locker room can confidently say they’ve been doubted,” Hyde said. “We all play with a chip on our shoulder. We have nothing to be too confident about just yet.”
All they need to do is check their own history for proof.