DiMarco: We're looking to get back on track against Saints

November 10, 2017

We have reached the halfway point of the 2017 season with the 5–3 Buffalo Bills holding the sixth seed in the AFC, and trying to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in 17 seasons.

The Bills are coming off of their worst loss of the season last Thursday night to the New York Jets in the Meadowlands. They look to rebound from that loss against the red-hot New Orleans Saints this weekend at New Era Field. While this game does not contain make or break circumstances for the Bills' playoff hopes, they will need to play a tough game on both sides of the ball against a team that has won six straight games.

With the tensions of the Bills' loss to the Jets, plus the storyline that is the 17-year playoff drought, fullback Patrick DiMarco does not believe the team is succumbing to the critics and is spending a lot of time looking ahead to their next game.

“We got one game each week," DiMarco said with Howard Simon and Jeremy White Friday morning on WGR. "We try not to let the outside noise and distractions really take a hold of us so we try to focus on the task at hand and then let the rest of the stuff take care of itself.”

If the Bills are to end the 17-year playoff drought, they will need to treat every game from here on out as if it is a playoff game. According to DiMarco, that’s the message that head coach Sean McDermott is drilling to the players in the locker room.

“Coach McDermott does a great job of laying the law and letting us know, ‘It’s a one week playoff every week and we’re playing our one game.’ There’s no other points of emphasis besides our game that week."

The Bills offense came out last Thursday and got dominated by the Jets' pass rush and run defense. The Bills offense only managed 307 yards of total offense, gave up seven sacks to the Jets defense, and also turned the ball over three times. DiMarco is confident that the loss to the Jets will not affect how they prepare for the Saints on Sunday.

“We just didn’t play good football. It was a Thursday night game and it was our worst game of the year so far. Every team has one of those games where they just don’t play well. We had a great week in preparation for the Saints, so I feel like that game is long gone and we’re excited about what we got moving forward."

The Bills are expected to have one of their newest weapons on the field on Sunday when wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin makes his Bills debut. DiMarco is very familiar with Benjamin, who spent parts of the first four years of his career with the Carolina Panthers. The veteran fullback faced Benjamin for three seasons while he played with the Atlanta Falcons, and knows just how much of a threat he can be for the Bills.

“I saw him do a lot of things from the sideline when I was with the Falcons and when he was in Carolina. He’s a stud. He’s a game changer," DiMarco said. "He’s a guy who can take the top off and be a possession guy. He’s a guy who has such a big wingspan. The ball can be anywhere by him and he has the ball skills to go up and get it.”

Buffalo is also expected to have another key piece to the offense back in the lineup as Charles Clay is on pace to play Sunday with a knee injury. Getting Clay back will certainly add to Tyrod Taylor's artillery, and adds another dimension to the Bills offense that they have missed.

“Having a guy like him almost demands a little bit of help whether you’re going to double team him or you’re just going to have to have a safety sit over the top," DiMarco said. “He was huge for us early in the year. That was a huge loss for us. Having him back opens up a bunch of weapons. He’s a great blocker. He’s a phenomenal receiver. He’s a matchup nightmare for safeties and linebackers. It’s a huge plus for us.”

You can listen to the entire DiMarco interview with Howard and Jeremy below: