ORCHARD PARK – The Buffalo Bills can’t win their second straight AFC East Division Championship on Sunday afternoon, even if they beat the Atlanta Falcons at snow-capped Highmark Stadium.
They can, however, clinch a playoff berth if they do what’s expected and beat Atlanta and get some help in Baltimore. If the Rams can beat the Ravens, who will play without star quarterback Lamar Jackson, it will secure a spot in the AFC top seven for Buffalo.
If the Ravens find a way to beat a Rams team that still has a lot to play for as they try to win the NFC West title and are still alive for the NFC No.1 seed, another scenario could. also get the Bills in the playoffs.
They would need both the Chargers losing at home to the Broncos and the Raiders losing to the Colts, and that daily brace is entirely possible.
Invoices against Falcons:Here’s what McDermott, gamers say
I will be providing updates all day from the stadium, so please bookmark this page.
Buffalo News contacted Falcons rusher Steven Means and Buffalo native who played ball in high school in Grover Cleveland and played for hometown UB Bulls are still furious the Bills didn’t draft him in 2013.
“I grew up in the heart, in downtown Buffalo, New York,” Means said. “I played little league football in the old Bills Stadium at Johnnie B. Wiley (field on the site of War Memorial Stadium). I grew up in a public school in Buffalo, elementary and high school. I went to the University of Buffalo. When it was too cold to train outside, we went to the Bills stadium. I had my pro day at the Bills stadium. I came to train at the Bills stadium. I made a name for myself during this pro day. And growing up as a die-hard Bills fan and not being there and letting turns and turns and turns – that’s another little chip on my shoulder.
Means was selected in the fifth round of the 2013 Draft by the Buccaneers and he also played for the Ravens, Eagles and Falcons. His 27 NFL starts have come since he went to Atlanta in 2019.
“Stephen Means is just a great professional, and I know that term is used and it can be subjective, but what Stephen does is a very intelligent and instinctive football player,” said the Falcons coach. , Arthur Smith, to West New York reporters at a conference. to call. “He plays against special teams. Great guy in the locker room, providing genuine leadership. He is productive. This is a good quality advantage. These guys have been hanging around for a long time. They know how to play.
Emmanuel Sanders at the top of the list of inactive Bills
One of the questions that kept popping up over the week centered on the Bills receiving corps, and how were they going to deploy everyone now that Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis have been allowed to return from the reserve list / COVID-19.
Part of the equation was settled Sunday morning when the Bills announced that Emmanuel Sanders would not play, presumably because of his knee pain.
Sanders missed the second half at Tampa Bay and Carolina’s entire game with injury, but was able to play last week in New England and caught two passes for 20 yards as the Bills were without Davis and Beasley.
During the week of training, Sanders was listed as a limited participant on the Wednesday visit, and then did not work on Thursday and Friday, indicating he would be out against Atlanta.
The other question on Sunday will be how the Bills use Isaiah McKenzie after his career game against the Patriots while replacing Beasley. Stefon Diggs, Davis and Beasley are expected to be the main three-man squad, but McKenzie can’t be ignored after what he delivered in the big win over New England.
Incredibly, Bills don’t have anyone on the COVID list despite the widespread epidemic plaguing western New York City, so their inactive are healthy wounds or scratches.
Running back Matt Breida, offensive lineman Bobby Hart, defensive linemen Boogie Basham and Vernon Butler and tight end Tommy Sweeney join Sanders on the inactive list.
Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, who has missed several games for various reasons, is active, as is defensive end AJ Epenesa who is not on the COVID roster, which is why Basham and Butler are down.
Offensive lineman Jon Feliciano is also active, but it is not certain whether he will return to the starting lineup at the left guard post ahead of Ryan Bates who filled out so well last week when Ike Boettger stepped down. hurt. Feliciano can take on Bates’ role as the main replacement for all three inside positions.
The weather is typical for January
Hey, wouldn’t you know, winter has arrived in western New York. You knew it was going to happen at some point, and on Sunday the Falcons – a team of southern domes – will face temperatures reaching 20 degrees and troublesome snow that, right now, two hours before kick off. sending, lightly covered the ground.
The only thing you are always looking for these days is not so much the cold and the snow, it is the wind because that is what plays the most on the impacts. And it seems like it’s a cinch, but nothing too problematic for Josh Allen or Matt Ryan to worry about.
Conditions are expected to stay that way for most of the day, although it is sometimes difficult to predict what might happen in Orchard Park even 30 minutes later. Suffice it to say, this is not the Patriots ‘hurricane-like game of a month ago, nor the Colts’ snowmageddon game of 2017.
How to watch, listen to the game Buffalo Bills vs Atlanta Falcons
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Or: Highmark Stadium
TV: FOX (Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin)
Satellite radio: Sirius 103, XM 234
Radio: 96.5 FM / 950 AM
Series: The Falcons lead 7-5.
Tipico betting line: Tickets -13.5
► Falcons coach Arthur Smith on the Bills: “It’s a very good football team. They were. A little familiarity with the game the last few years when I was in Tennessee. Good plan, quick defense, they’ve invested a lot in that front seven. So they’re the No.1 defense in the league for a reason. Explosive players in attack. They present a lot of problems. We have to play really well to get on the road in Buffalo. “
► Falcons QB Matt Ryan on Josh Allen’s style of play: “He has a different build than mine. He’s got a little more height to himself, he’s probably a little bigger, able to withstand some of the things he does. In what I have seen of him, I have always been impressed. He is strong, there is no doubt. But his ability to extend plays and use his legs to make plays has been essential for their team for the past few years. “
► Falcons TE Kyle Pitts over nearly 1000 yards receiving: “It means a lot to me because I personally think (Tony Gonzalez) is the best (tight end) ever. Just looking at all the tight ends that came before me, he was a guy I loved. look. I never would have thought 1000 meters. It’s a lot of meters. I always strive to be the best, but I would have thought 1000 would be a little difficult. “
Total offense: 381.2 yards (6th); 309.5 (25th)
Precipitated infringement: 120.4 yards (11th); 86.2 (31st)
Pass offense: 260.8 yards (7th); 223.3 (16th)
Points marked: 28.5 (3rd); 18.5 (25th)
Total defense: 287.9 yards (1st); 364.9 (24th)
Quick defense: 114.8 yards (17th); 120.9 (22nd)
Defensive pass: 173.1 yards (1st); 244.0 (23rd)
Authorized points: 17.6 (3rd); 26.7 (28th)
Individual officers of the Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons
Invoices: Devin Singletary 146 carries, 672 yards; Josh Allen 102-619; Zack Moss 86-298; Matt Breida 26-125; Isaiah McKenzie 7-34; Emmanuel Sanders 2-31; Mitchell Trubisky 10-27.
Falcons: Cordarelle Patterson 140-579; Mike Davis 124-431; Wayne Gallman 28-104; Matt Ryan 37-73; Qadree Ollison 17-67.
Invoices: Josh Allen 374 of 575, 4,048 yards, 34 touchdowns, 12 interceptions.
Falcons: Matt Ryan 342 of 504, 3,555 yards, 19 touchdowns, 11 interceptions.
Invoices: Stefon Diggs 89 catches, 1,092 yards; Cole Beasley 76-640; Dawson Knox 46-538; Emmanuel Sanders 42-626; Devin Singletary 38-204; Gabriel Davis 29-470; Zack Moss 21-191; Isaiah McKenzie 18-163; Tommy Sweeney 9-44; Matt Breida 7-72.
Falcons: Kyle Pitts 64-949; Russell Gage 54-594; Cordarelle Patterson 49-523; Mike Davis 40-246; Calvin Ridley 31-281; Olamides Zacchaeus 26-351; Tajae Sharp 25-230; Hayden Hurst 25-188; Lee Smith 9-65; Keith Smith 8-53.
2021 Buffalo Bills Schedule
9/12 v Steelers, L 16-23
9/19 at Dolphins, W 35-0
9/26 vs. Washington, W 43-21
10/3 v Texans, W 40-0
10/10 to chefs, W 38-20
18/10 at Titans, L 31-34
10/24 Goodbye week
10/31 against dolphins, W 26-11
11/7 at Jaguars, L 6-9
11/14 at Jets, W 45-17
11/21 v Colts, L 15-41
11/25 at Saints, W 31-6
12/6 v Patriots, L 10-14
12/12 at Buccaneers, L 27-33 OT
12/19 v Panthers, W 31-14
12/26 at the Patriots, W 33-21
1/2 vs. Falcons, 1 p.m.
1/9 vs. Jets, 1 p.m.
Sal Maiorana can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.