Bills’ Jordan Poyer: ‘Combined effort’ needed vs. Chiefs without Tre’Davious White

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The Buffalo Bills have fared well defensively without cornerback Tre’Davious White. Despite him going down with a season-ending injury on Thanksgiving Day, the Bills still managed to lead the NFL in points (17.0) and yards (272.8) allowed this season.

But there’s always two sides to an argument.

Buffalo’s secondary has had players step up in White’s absence. Then again, a majority of the Bills’ opponents since then haven’t had the best offenses. At least not one like the Kansas City Chiefs, who Buffalo will face in the AFC divisional round on Sunday.

Naturally in Buffalo’s locker room, players are focusing on teammates having stepped up. But the message this week ahead of facing KC isn’t one about individuals. It’s about the collective.

“We take a lot of responsibility, especially since Tre’Davious left, on making sure that on the backend that we’re all communicating that we’re all executing at a high level,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said via video conference. “It’s a combined effort, it’s not just Micah (Hyde) and I. It’s a combined effort of our back seven.”

Included in that defensive back grouping are two cornerbacks that have filled in for White: Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson. Poyer mentioned the pair have stepped up into “huge roles.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott echoed that, adding difficulties of life without White have actually fueled things.

“Dane and Levi have done a tremendous job. The guys have come together and played good team defense,” McDermott said via video conference. “I think Levi, along with the entire secondary, have taken that as a challenge and embraced that challenge. It’s never about one guy, Tre or Levi, I think it’s just about the overall team, the overall unit.”

There is still the reality of what’s next.

Receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce & Co. The Chiefs have a lightening-quick offense and the Bills are going to face their biggest test-to-date in Kansas City and they know it.

“(The Chiefs) can turn a two-yard catch, screen, into a 70-yard touchdown,” McDermott said. “Just an overwhelming amount of weapons on that side of the ball.”

One factor that might be in play as well is confidence.

In 2020, the Bills lost to the Chiefs twice. However, the tables turned earlier this season. While Hill, Kelce, and Kansas City did get their touches, no one went over 100 yards receiving.

And most importantly: Buffalo won 38-20.

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