For some, the Bills’ win over the Lions was “meaningless.”
A fifth win in December, potentially impacting the Bills’ position in April for the NFL draft.
But, for the 53 guys in the locker room, their victory over Detroit was a sign of growth from a young football team.
“It’s huge,” veteran safety Micah Hyde said. “Any December football, in the fourth quarter and you find a way to win, it’s huge. You learn for the future. Hopefully next year, we’re in the same situation with a way better record and we’re able to play in December, have meaningful games and come away with a victory just like that.”
Leading 14-13 in the fourth quarter with a little less than four minutes to play in the game, with the Lions marching down the field to potentially take the lead, Bills safety Jordan Poyer made a critical stop on third and short to force Detroit to punt.
The offense would take over and do the rest, running out the final 2:50 on the game clock.
“It’s pretty satisfying,” Poyer said of his tackle. “It was a huge topic this week, too. We have to find a way to win when the game is on the line. I think that says a lot about this team, learning from our experience last week (vs. the Jets) and being in almost the situation and able to create some good stops and put our offense back on the field to win the game for us.”
“Obviously, since we’ve kind of gotten out of playoff hunt, there’s been a resurgence of youth and you try to see what you have on your roster. Guys have really been growing,” added linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who mentioned the development of wide receivers Zay Jones and Robert Foster after the game. “What we want to do is win, create that winning culture and carry that momentum into the offseason and next season because then you have the building block for guys to kind of work from.”
Foster finished Sunday with 108 receiving yards and a touchdown, eclipsing the 100 yard mark for the second straight game and third time this season.
Jones had one catch for six yards, but has continued to make plays throughout the season to help the Bills.
Drafted to be the “future of the franchise” Allen improved to 4-5 overall as a starter as he combined for two touchdowns.
“He’s confident, he’s just growing — that’s what we’re all doing,” Foster said of the rookie quarterback. “Hopefully we continue to do that and execute.”
“They probably look at us like ‘whatever it’s the Bills. They have nothing to play for.’ Most people don’t understand what it takes to build a winning culture over a long period of time,” said Jones.
“It has to start from somewhere. Going through games like these and collecting wins, I told Josh, ‘another win under your belt. Cherish it, appreciate it and use it moving forward.'”