For well over a decade, the Bills and Western New York have talked about the playoffs as some mystical fantasy land.
This week, the Bills need only a win and a game or two of help to get there.
Suddenly, the playoffs have never seemed more real.
“It’s here. It’s in front of our face,” LeSean McCoy said. “It’s one thing to plan for something, but to actually have it in front of you, it’s another thing. “
“The intensity level feels like it ratcheted up a little bit. Coach McDermott came in on fire this morning, making sure the troops were all on the same page,” Richie Incognito said.”Being this close, being able to taste it… it’s got a different feeling. It really does.”
Tyrod Taylor called this weekend a great opportunity to rise up as a team.
Even if the Bills do “rise up”, they don’t reach the playoff promise land without a Ravens loss or the Titans and Chargers both losing.
With all the games that matter to the Bills happening at the same time, many players admitted it will hard to avoid scoreboard watching.
“Probably shouldn’t,” McCoy said. “I’ll tell coach I won’t, but I probably will just to see what’s going on.”
Micah Hyde says scoreboard watching can just be part of the game’s natural flow. Many players, when their side of the ball is on the bench, will watch the game on the scoreboard instead of standing on the sideline.
“If the offense is on the field and we’re watching the Jumbotron, scores pop up, highlights pop up. It is what it is.”
Not everyone will be checking the big screens.
“I won’t look up. Moreso to focus on the game,” Taylor said.
“Those scores are pretty accessible in the stadium. You can see them, but that doesn’t take us out of our game,” Incognito said. “We still have to go out there and produce and finish. Being this close with this group and knowing the history and all that, I know our guys will respond the right way.”
LeSean McCoy knows how special the playoffs would be to Buffalo, but that’s hardly his goal. He thinks the Bills can make noise once they’re in the playoffs.
“That’s not an accomplishment in my eyes,” McCoy said of making the postseason. “That’s something you should do. We want to have that thing where we’re constantly getting to the playoffs.”
In Buffalo, that’s still only the stuff of unicorns and fairy tales. At least until Sunday.