Bills win the AFC East but now focus on the ‘ultimate goal’

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, above, celebrates with teammate offensive tackle Dion Dawkins after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Mental toughness is something that might sound cliche and like “coach speak” but when it comes to the Bills, it’s an extremely important characteristic to have.

This is a franchise that just won its first AFC East title in 25 years so it could be easy to get caught in the moment and think they’ve “arrived”. I’m not saying they shouldn’t celebrate, they absolutely should, but the way this team is playing they seem destined for things bigger than just winning the division and that was the vibe after a blowout win over the Broncos.

“Obviously one of the goals is to win the AFC East but that’s not the ultimate goal. We’re gonna enjoy this and enjoy this moment with our guys on the flight home and with our families and then once that 24 hour rule comes into effect we move on. We got a lot of football left to be played. This isn’t our ultimate goal. Obviously our ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said.

The Bills beat Denver 48-19 to clinch the division for the first time since 1995. Many players and even head coach Sean McDermott reflected on the hard work it took to get to this point and the hardships they went through to get there.

But now the mindset is they’re ready for more than just making the playoffs and being “happy to be there”.

“This is a step. We needed to win the East, we’ve now won the East and a lot of hard work has gone into that. And now it’s we’ll enjoy this and then there’s gonna be time to reset and figure out what’s next,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.

The way the Bills have evolved not just on the field but off the field, mentally as well is remarkable. This year they seem much more equipped to handle the big moments. If you look back to some of the big wins early in the Sean McDermott/Brandon Beane era, it’s a lot different.

Remember when they stunned the Vikings back in 2018? You saw Tre’Davious White shouting “you like that?” beecause of Kirk Cousins. And when they beat the Falcons LeSean McCoy (granted it’s LeSean McCoy) was screaming “hey everyone wants to come talk to the winners” when the media entered the locker room.

You don’t see that kind of stuff from this team. They act like they’ve been there when actually they haven’t.

“It’s great that we’re able to do it for the first time in 25 years. To be the team and to be the quarterback of the team that does it obviously feels really good. At the same time that’s not our main goal,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said.

“When we set out to do this in order to give us a chance to do what we really want to do and that’s to win Super Bowl championships so it feels good. We’re gonna celebrate this one for the time being. It hasn’t happened in 25 years and I know our fans and Bills Mafia is probably going crazy right now but there’s still a lot on the table.”

Now they set their sights on something bigger than just winning the division and making the postseason for the third time in four years.

“That’s what we have to understand. I’ve been blessed to be a part of this not as a head coach but in other roles and I think it’s a step. That’s what people have to realize. I know it’s been 25 years, I’m so excited for the Bills fans for that but we’ve gotta get back to work here in about 24 hours and continue to get better,” McDermott explained.

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