Micah Hyde had but one piece of advice for Jordan Poyer on Sunday: Hit the weights.
The Buffalo Bills’ safety jokingly gave his partner in the secondary a hard time after almost having an interception wrestled away from him during a 21-12 season-opening victory over the New York Jets at New Era Field.
“He has to get in the weight room because the guy took it from him,” Hyde said as Poyer listened behind him in the locker room.
Officials, however, upheld the interception, the first of two recorded by Buffalo’s new safety duo.
“Poyer showed out today,” Hyde said. “He did a great job. … I’m excited for Poyer. A lot of hard work he’s put in throughout this offseason. A lot of people have counted him out, counted myself out, so we made a promise to each other, to this whole secondary and to this team. We’re going to give it our all this whole season, and that guy is doing it for sure.”
Poyer stuffed the stat sheet with three tackles, one sack, two passes defensed and his interception.
“It was a great team win, all 11 guys on defense, all three phases really,” he said after the game. “It was fun to play in front of that crowd. … We have a lot of work to do, though. It’s Week One. We’re excited to get that first win out under our belt, but we have a lot of work to do.”
From the moment their signings were announced together in March, Poyer and Hyde have been starters. Their performances against the Jets provides hope that they will be cornerstones of an entirely rebuilt secondary.
“Came in together, we’re pushing each other and that’s all that we ask of each other,” said Hyde, who sealed the victory with an interception of Jets quarterback Josh McCown in the final two minutes. “We have a lot to build off.”
Poyer's speed was on display when he flew in off the edge in the second quarter for a blind-side sack of McCown, resulting in an 11-yard loss.
"Everybody has to be able to blitz," he said. "I was at the right position at the right time."
His interception came in the fourth quarter when McCown was looking for receiver Robby Anderson along the right sideline with a desperation heave. Although Anderson got his hands on the ball as both players went to the ground, officials ruled Poyer had possession.
"I didn't know how it ended," he said. "I knew I had possession. It was really bang-bang. Honestly, I came to the sideline not really sure until I saw the replay."
Poyer became the first member of the Bills to record a sack and an interception in his team debut since Sam Adams famously did so in 2003 against the New England Patriots. Poyer was asked if Sunday's performance was even more special given the way his 2016 season with the Cleveland Browns ended – when he suffered a brutal injury that included internal bleeding on a blind-side hit in the sixth game of the year.
"I wasn't even thinking about last year," he said. "I put that part of my life behind me. Today was just another time to go out there and step out on the football field and showcase our talent as a team. I think we did that."