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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Super Bowl losses unite McDermott, DiMarco ahead of meeting with Falcons

With the Bills heading to Atlanta this week, former Falcon Patrick DiMarco recalled the team's Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, saying it "will always be that burn inside knowing how close (we were)."

Coach Sean McDermott and former Panthers players can relate: They lost the Super Bowl two years ago against the Broncos.

McCoy says he's cool with Kelly: Jim Kelly may have lost respect for LeSean McCoy when the running back stretched during the national anthem Sunday as a form of protest, but McCoy doesn't (or at least said he doesn't) harbor any ill feelings toward Kelly in return. "My respect for you hasn't changed," McCoy said he told Kelly when the two exchanged texts.

Will protests continue? Most Bills players said they hadn't made up their mind yet on what they'll do this week. Lorenzo Alexander said he planned to return to standing during the anthem Sunday but hoped to continue the dialogue on important issues. Others like Shareece Wright planned to continue kneeling. The Falcons, meanwhile, said they will all lock arms during the anthem and encouraged fans to do the same.

McDermott, Quinn football paths cross for first time as head coaches

Bills' keys to winning: Don't make this game a shootout, Vic Carucci wrote.

X's and O's: Falcons running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will put a lot of pressure on the Bills' edge defenders, Mark Gaughan wrote. And watch out for Coleman in the red zone.

Sean McDermott should know the Falcons: He faced them twice a year as the defensive coordinator with the Panthers and should know their intricacies. But he needs to have a better plan for covering Julio Jones than he did last year when Jones exploded for 300 receiving yards in a single game.

Marcell Dareus is getting closer to playing: The $1 million-a-game player was a limited participant in practice Wednesday after missing last week's game with a foot injury.

Bills trivia: How many Bills head coaches also played for the team?

Jay Skurski's Bills-Falcons Scouting Report: McDermott knows what kind of test awaits Buffalo in Atlanta

Gleason: Micah Hyde's small-town upbringing is making big difference for Bills.

How'd our local NFLers do? Jay Skurski has your rundown here.

Roster opening: The Bills still have only 52 players on the roster. Who could fill the last spot? Here are a few possibilities.

Hauschka honored: Bills kicker Steven Hauschka was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after a strong day of field-goal kicking.

Is Justin Timberlake back? The pop star will reportedly perform at halftime of the Super Bowl, returning to the stage 14 years after the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.

Watch: Our Team's Takeaway on Bills anthem protests, Atlanta predictions

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