Bills stress the importance of finishing the regular season strong


New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) is sacked by Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — For the first time in 12 years, the Patriots have missed the playoffs after being officially eliminated from postseason contention after a loss to the Dolphins last week.

But that doesn’t mean the Bills should overlook this game or take New England lightly and that’s the last thing on their minds.

“We know we’re gonna get the Patriots’ best, we know Coach Belichick will have those guys ready so we’ve gotta answer the call at their home stadium,” Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes said.

The Patriots have also clinched their first non-winning season since 2000. New England has really struggled this season on both sides of the ball. Defensively they’re dealing with a bunch of injuries, the biggest to cornerback Stephon Gilmore with a season-ending leg injury.

Offensively, the Patriots haven’t found the end zone the past two games scoring just five field goals combined against the Dolphins last week and against the Rams the week before.

But with two games left, the Bills are focused on finishing the regular season on a high note.

“You don’t want to be going into the playoffs kind of limping in and not playing your best ball. We want to be playing our best ball in December and January and that holds true. Just because we clinched the division doesn’t mean we let up. I think a lot of guys in here understand the opportunity we have. The NFL is a beast and as a player you’ve gotta bring it each and every day, each and every game,” Bills safety Micah Hyde explained.

And that means putting last week’s high of winning the AFC East for the first time in 25 years, behind them.

“The good teams know how to get big wins and flush it and move on to the next. That’s what you’ve gotta have especially late in the season. We understand we’re coming off a big game wearing the hats, wearing the T-shirts, coming home to a huge crowd and everyone around the league is talking very highly of us about the last couple games we played but we understand that you gotta stay humble, you gotta stay in the middle and each week is a different challenge and we’ve got two more regular season games left that we’re not gonna let up on,” Hyde said.

The Bills are also still fighting for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs as well not to mention it’s still the Patriots…

“I have never won in Foxborough, never. I’ve played there obviously the three times each season I’ve been here, this will be the fourth. I don’t think I’ve ever played there in Green Bay, there might have been a preseason game which I think we lost so I’ve never won in Foxborough so add that to the motivation for the game and we’re gonna get ready to play,” Hyde explained.

With a win on Monday night, the Bills will sweep the Patriots for the first time since 1999.

“We know this is a division game so we know it’s gonna be a hard fought game but those are the kind of games we wanna get up for,” Hughes said.

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