It is no secret the Buffalo Bills offense has taken a major step forward with Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen. Plus, the defense is gaining traction at the right time. But the analysts are not giving enough love to the Bills special teams unit.
Our man Rico sat down with Reid Ferguson, Corey Bojorquez, and Tyler Bass to talk about clinching the Bills first AFC East title since 1995 and other nuggets.
The Bills Player-Fan Connection in Orchard Park
While it is special for the players, Ferguson says the player-fan bond is one of the strongest in the NFL.
“Being here in Buffalo is such a unique place because the fan player relationship is so special. Example 1A is the greeting we got from the fans when we landed on Sunday morning,” Ferguson said.
The Bills faithful have flooded the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in the past. But Tyler Bass said this one was different, as it was his first time as a Bill.
“Some of the players hinted at it, but there were a lot more than a few fans. For it being my first time, it was amazing and incredible. I just wish they were in the stands sooner than later,” Bass said.
No Nicknames for the Bills????
The Bills’ special teams unit is really something special according to ESPN. Tyler Bass has the 7th most successful field goals in the NFL (27). And Bojo has the longest punt average in the league with 50.1 yards per attempt.
But one thing the special teams unit does not have is a nickname. Josh Allen is unofficially known as Big Dick Josh Allen. Devin Singletary is Motor.
There have been some personal nickname suggestions such Fergalicious, B9Bomber, and Bassomatic. But I think the three amigos will stick for now.
Ranch and Wings Don’t Mix : Two Words
If you are in Buffalo, chicken wings and blue cheese are a must-have. So it was expected that Bojorquez would respond with gross. But plain???
“I don’t like blue cheese either, just give me some straight wings with no sauce. I’m real easy,” he said.
I think Bojo needs a trip to the Anchor Bar or Elmo’s in the near feature. He needs to have the real Buffalo chicken wing experience. But we can agree to disagree if he keeps bombing punts.
The NFL and TikTok
TikTok has been the star application for the past couple of months. But Ferguson says his brother is now a TikTok sensation.
“My brother is a TikTok star now, and I had no idea. I do not even have one,” Ferguson said.
But with the fiasco of Juju Smith-Schuster dancing on team logos, Bojorquez says there is added motivation to his antics for the Bills.
“I get he does his thing and whatever. But doing it on the logo, he knows what he’s doing. Teams are already anticipating it, so he might have a little thumping coming to him,” Bojorquez said.
Now, would McDermott allow his players to do something so foolish? Bojo does not think so.
“Nah, we got a game to win; we ain’t got time for this dancing. We can dance in the locker room after we win,” he said.
Remember those early-season struggles for Tyler Bass. Yeah, me neither. The rookie has been automatic since Week 10 against Arizona with an 11 for 11 stat line.
Is it lightning in a bottle for Bass or something special he puts in his smoothies? No, it’s experience and his teammates.
“Getting more experience and comfortable with the whole process has been key. It’s really a testament to Bojo and Reid, as they have been giving me great snaps and holds to make it easier for me,” Bass said.
Yes, the rookie Bass has some extra swag in his step. But it is not surprising he has been consistent. Take the video of him kicking a 60-yard field goal with no step below.
But if he needed to come in and bang a long kick, Bass believes he could hit the low 70s.
“I have hit the low 70s a few times, but I think max of 72-73,” Bass said.
All I got to say is if this man can hit a 65-yard field goal when it matters most, he will be a part of Bills royalty for the rest of his career.
During training camp, Bass also pushed out fourteen-year vet Stephen Hauschka. Despite taking his job, Bass says he learned a lot from Hauschka.
“Just talking to him and learning some of the little things that he does that I never thought about was truly a great experience. I learned what to work out, when to work out and how to prepare to kick in Buffalo,” Bass said.
Hopefully Bass can be more clutch in the field goal game than Hauschka.
The Eye Black???
Not only has Tyler Bass been killing it on the field, he has been showing up strong in his uniform choice. The rookie has opted for the one eye black swipe. It was something he did not learn from Hauschka.
“That was all me. In high school, my grandmother had breast cancer and she was the person who got me into kicking. Throughout my senior season, I decided to do a M for her and I have now simplified to one line of eye-black,” Bass said.
The Pro Bowl Snub Debate
Many players in the league were snubbed from the 2020 Pro Bowl. One of them was Bills safety, Jordan Poyer. Yes, Tyrann Mathieu has more interceptions (six versus two).
But Poyer has been balling, and Ferguson believes it is a big deal to the players to make the Pro Bowl.
“I think it is a big deal for some guys. Once you get a couple under your belt, a lot of people say it becomes a popularity contest. It helps out in some contract negotiations, but we do not need the accolades. We will do our talking on the field,” Ferguson said.
And the boys will continue to do their business on the field. Take Bojorquez for example, who has been lights out in his 39 punts this year. But the special teams trio give most of the credit to the evolution of Josh Allen.
Josh Allen’s Rise as a Leader
In his third season in the league, Josh Allen has rose to the top of the quarterback rankings. His 68.7 completion percentage is currently sixth in the league and his 4,000 yards is fifth, according to ESPN. But his special teams teammates point out his leadership as a major contributor for this Bills team.
“Everyone is attracted to how he carries himself, and we feed off of how he motivates us. For my first year in the league, I am blessed to have him as my teammate,” Bass said.
For Bojorquez, he points to Allen’s rise in comfort level as the catalyst for his 2020 success.
“Josh had a lot of potential last year, and we were doing well. But he has hit those little things that kept him from progressing as a quarterback,” he said.
The Regular Season is Not Finished For the Bills
Although the Buffalo Bills clinched their first AFC East title since 1995, their regular season is far from over. If they win their last two games, they will be the second seed for the first time in team history. But Ferguson sees the last two as just two games.
“Throw records out the window when you play division games. We know what we got to do to keep ourselves in the two seed right now and that is the goal,” he said.
And with the Bills win against the Patriots on Monday night, there is some history attached to it. The last time the Bills swept the Patriots was in 1999. To put that into perspective, Tom Brady was still at Michigan and Bill Belichick was the Jets Defensive Coordinator.
So throw the playoff implications out the window. These next two weeks are crucial for the Bills if they want to keep the Mafia Express rolling into late January.