Scoreboard watching? McDermott and players discuss situation Sunday in Miami

The Bills need some help and a win to make the playoffs

Sal Capaccio
December 27, 2017 - 10:33 pm

Photo: Bob DeChiara - USA TODAY Sports


In order for the Buffalo Bills to end their 17-year playoff drought, they of course have to win Sunday at the Miami Dolphins. But they also have to have either the Baltimore Ravens lose or both the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans lose.  

Bills players know they have to take care of their own business in South Florida. But they also know they need help. And that help can only come in games that are being played at the same time as their game. So how will they not want to pay attention to the three other games that will determine their fate?

“I think the easiest answer to that is, really, if we don’t win it’s not going to matter,” head coach Sean McDermott told reporters this week. “Focus on the task at hand and what’s in front of us and that means, through all the scenarios that are out there, the one common theme is (the) Bills have to win so we’ve got to do that first.”

The Bills, Ravens, and Titans were all originally scheduled to play at 1 p.m. Sunday, but the league moved each game to 4:25 p.m. to align with the Chargers game so that none of the teams will know their fate before kickoff.

McDermott acknowledged that his players will be aware of the situation and that he’ll even address it, but that it won’t take away from their focus on the game they’re playing.

“We’re going to talk about it, just in terms of like I talked about here, big picture perspective,” he said. “Hey, let’s state the obvious. I’m not going to ignore it, and then we’ll move forward and talk about our fundamentals and our mindset and us growing as a football team, just like we do every week, really.”

Here’s what some other players had to say when asked about scoreboard watching Sunday afternoon:

LB Preston Brown

“We’ll play at the same time, so you can’t really check your phones, see what they’re doing. We all have to focus on what we have to do. Around the league, I know a lot of people on the Bengals, so I try to talk to them to see what they have going on. We have to handle our business and try to get a win down in Miami.”

OG Richie Incognito

“We’re definitely going to be focused, locked in in our game. The scores are pretty accessible, in the stadium you can see them. But that doesn’t take us out of our game. 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.”

RB LeSean McCoy

“You’re playing and you have one thought in mind and say ‘hey, we’ve got to win.’ Anything can happen on the other side. We’re all playing together. You’re not playing a game and then scoreboard watching. Sometimes, I get caught up in looking at scoreboards during the game or looking at rushing yards during a game. We could just focus on winning this one game and our minds think that, ‘okay, Baltimore has lost.’ From there on, you can just play the game.”

QB Tyrod Taylor

“I probably won’t (look at the scoreboard). It’s not that I probably won’t, I won’t look up. More so, just focused on the game because the scenarios that are out there, the best scenario is when we win. We have to focus on winning the game, and let everything else take care of itself…..I won’t force myself not to look at the scoreboard, but I’m not necessarily worried about that.”

On what he can do as a QB and leader to make sure others aren’t scoreboard watching?

“Everybody knows what’s at stake, and everyone knows we need our best performance this Sunday. We’re preparing that way, this week. As far as on game day, if you look up, or you don’t, we still have a job to do, and that’s where your focus needs to be. I believe that’s where everyone’s focus will be.”

C Eric Wood

“Yeah, you have to stay focused and avoid it. I’d be naïve to say that I probably won’t glance up there at some point. In every NFL stadium, they’re projecting those scores pretty good. Mentally, you can’t let it affect you one way or the other. Games can swing one way or the other. Like I said, we have to focus on beating a good Miami football team, super talented team.”

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