McDermott reflects on first half of season

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Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott watches his team play during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Bills are coming off a 24-21 victory over AFC East rivals New England Patriots, the Bills first win over the Pats since 2016, and their first win over New England at home since 2011.

For the first time this season, the Bills relied heavily on the run game, with Devin Singeltary, Zack Moss and Josh Allen combining for 190 yards on 38 rushes.

“It’s just developing as a football team, mindset, mentality. The ground game, you have to be able to run the ball,” Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott said on Monday. “It’s tough to be one dimensional, whether it’s running wise or throwing wise, to win in this league.”

The Bills are now halfway through the season and are at the top of the AFC East with a 6-2 record, and 4-0 in division play. While Buffalo has had some big wins, they’ve also been dealt some tough losses. As McDermott always says, there are always things to work on to continue getting better each week.

“There’s certainly things we’ve done well, winning six games doesn’t come easy, so we’re doing a lot of things well. Certainly things we can improve on,” McDermott said. “I like how we’ve developed the passing game early and run game bodes well. I like how our D-Line is doing things up front with the quarterback in the rush element. Special teams overall continues to play fast and physical and fundamentally sound. There’s certainly a lot to work on, I know as a staff today we tried to outline those key points and we’ll go to work on fixing those things here.”

With the second half of the season now upon them, the Bills look to work on some of those areas that need improving.

The Bills have scored a total of 198 points this season, but have also given up a total of 199. While Josh Allen has certainly taken a step up in his third season, throwing for 2,172 yards through eight games, the Bills defense has given up 1,789 passing yards and 1,076 rushing yards, and rank 16th in the league in terms of defensive statistics.

With all of that taken into consideration, Buffalo looks to attack the final eight games in order to peak at the right point of the season, which is right around the corner.

“Most coaches would say they want to hit their stride in November, December, when the leaves are coming off the trees,” McDermott said. “Overall, at the end of the day you’re trying to win one game. Rosters change week to week, lineups change week to week, challenges normally come, and with COVID, we’re trying to find one week wins and do the best you can to put the best lineup out there.”

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Bills here on out. The 6-1 Seattle Seahawks come to Bills Stadium on Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 pm.

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