Fast 4Ward – Storylines to watch Bills at Packers

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Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White gets set for a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The Bills are in the win column and will look to make it two straight wins Sunday when they travel to Green Bay to battle the Packers (1-1-1)

Captain and Coach

LeSean McCoy did not play in the Bills’ 27-6 win over the Vikings, sitting out with rib cartilage injury.

Head Coach Sean McDermott told reporters on Monday the running back is progressing and will be day-to-day this week as they prepare for Green Bay.

While he sat out, the Bills captain was active on the sideline in Minnesota, going through film and play calls with the team, earning praise for his contributions in the win.

“We talk a lot about roles when we go back to the conversation that we were having a few minutes ago about understanding this football team and the individuals within the team,” head coach Sean McDermott said Monday.

“His role (Sunday) was to lead from the sideline, and I thought he did a phenomenal, phenomenal job of that. I couldn’t be more proud of the way he approached his role and just encouraging the guys that were on the field, whether it was offense, defense, or special teams. And then also starting to get himself healthy, as well. Getting himself ready to go this week.”
 

Trust the Process

The Bills are 1-2 on the year and by no means is the season over or the outlook as grim as it was two weeks ago. There’s been plenty of criticism and jokes thrown at the team with how things played but the one thing McDermott credits for the turnaround is leadership.

“There’s a group of guys that I count on, a core group of leaders that have gotten in front of this football team and have led by example, led verbally, have been servant leaders. All of the above, and the guys really follow that group overall, and I would say that every team is different, and this team is starting to take on its shape of its own and learn its own identity, and I think guys are starting to figure out who they are in the group and embrace that as well.

The Head Coach continues, “With this young football team, there’s still going to be growing pains, and guys making some plays that sometimes go the way we don’t want them to go, and that’s all part of the growth process.”

Kelvin Benjamin

The Bills wide receiver had a rough start to the game on Sunday with two drops, one of which could have been a touchdown.

McDermott called the drops “concerning” but added the Bills’ No. 1 wideout is still progressing.

“I think there are some plays that he’s made. There were a couple third downs yesterday that I think were big for us. Certainly, I know there were some balls that I know he’d like to have back in terms of some plays on the ball. I think he continues to make progress, and he’ll continue to get better. And that’s what we’re looking forward to, just like our entire football team. He’s a guy that Josh [Allen] counts on, and will continue to count on moving forward.”

Defense Returns to Form

After giving up chunks of yards and 78 points through the first two weeks, the Bills defense had a day to remember against Kirk Cousins and the high-powered Vikings offense.

Buffalo got pressure and to the QB while rushing four and forced three turnovers in the win. 

“It was great to see our defense step up and play as well as they did. [We] came really close to pitching a shutout, so it was a great effort by a lot of guys throughout the day. I really want to single out the way Jerry Hughes played, what Matt Milano did, Lorenzo [Alexander], Tre’Davious [White], a bunch of guys on our defense that really stepped up and played well,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “[They] gave our team a chance to win on the road, which is hard to do. Those takeaways were big, obviously, that led to points and field position. [It was] just a great day all the way around, to win on the road against a really good football team.”

Can they do it again, on the road at Lambeau?

The last time the Bills played the Packers was in 2014 — and the defense shut down Aaron Rodgers and the the Pack offense, limiting the QB to just 185 yards and a QBR of 17.3.  Rodgers also threw two interceptions and had a costly fumble.

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