1. Bills provided these surprises for Lorenzo Alexander’s potentially final home game
Lorenzo Alexander isn’t done just yet, but Sunday marked his final home game in a Bills uniform.
“Yeah, obviously that was a decision I made before the season,” Alexander said. “You know at this point we still got to play Houston next week, so my mind hasn’t even processed transition yet. I’m still in this thing 100% and I think once you start thinking about life after, you take some of the focus away from the guys and what’s important.”
What’s important to Alexander is his family. The Bills surprised him by having his 11-year old daughter Zoie sing the national anthem prior to the game while Alexander was standing with his family.
“It’s one of the proudest moments as a father I’ve had,” Alexander said. “It was real emotional and I didn’t know she was singing it. It was a cool experience and I thought she did a great job.”
Alexander was even given a curtain call early on in the game. Head coach Sean McDermott used a timeout early on in the first quarter to bring more attention to the substitution.
“I don’t know how to explain to you how Lorenzo Alexander has changed a lot of people in this locker room, including myself,” Micah Hyde said. “It’s the way he carries himself off and on the field. He just flies around. He’s the oldest guy in the locker room and he plays like the youngest. He definitely is a role model.”
Zoie Alexander surprised @onemangang97 and sang the national anthem before today’s game.
That’s one proud dad.
2. Bills ready to prepare for playoff matchup with Houston
The Bills playoff matchup is set. Buffalo will play the Houston Texans. The game marks the third straight playoff opponent from the AFC South and the first time the Bill will have played a playoff game in Houston.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us, they have lots of weapons on both sides of the ball,” Micah Hyde said. “I haven’t really watched them too much throughout the season. They had a primetime game and they looked amazing, so I know it’s going to be a big challenge.”
It’s the second time the Bills have made the playoffs in three seasons, but they still lack a lot of experience with a younger roster. Key contributors this season like Jordan Phillips have never played in the postseason.
“It’s going to be a fun experience for everybody,” Phillips said. “It amps up a lot and every play is crucial and everybody is going out there and giving it all they got every play. It’s such a battle in there that you have to get your mind right so it’s not easy.”
Leading Houston this season has been their quarterback Deshaun Watson. The third-year signal caller rested in Week 17 but started every other game this season. He threw for 256 yards per game to go along with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
“He can do everything,” Hyde said. “He beats you with your arms and legs. I don’t think he gets enough credit for how smart he is and how he can read coverages. Then when the play breaks down that’s when I feel like he makes his plays the most.”
Coach McDermott: “From this point on, it’s a one game season. Wins in the playoffs don’t come easy and we need to earn everything as a team.”
Isaiah McKenzie played wide receiver, kick returner, punt returner, and cornerback for the Bills on Sunday. McKenzie was only used at corner for a few snaps, but it was necessary after injuries and precaution.
“It looked like he did good so maybe we’ll evaluate that,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “He didn’t blink which is admirable at that point. Just trying to protect ourselves more than anything at that point.”
The Bills sat Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace was taken out with an ankle injury, Kevin Johnson was taken out as precaution, leaving just Taron Johnson, Dean Marlowe, and Siran Neal at corner. Then Taron Johnson got hurt. McKenzie was the next man up.
“Aw man I thought he was like Deion Sanders out there,” Duke Williams said. “They did a run play and I was like ‘oh lord they’re going to Isaiah’s side’ but he set the edge and the defense got the stop.”
The Bills primarily used a lot of backups on Sunday since their playoff seeding was already determined. On defense, Corey Thompson had five tackles while Daryl Johnson and Julian Stanford each had four. Offensively, the leading receivers were Williams with 108 yards and tight end Tommy Sweeney with 76.