If the Buffalo Bills are going to end a 17-year playoff drought, now is the time to show they're serious.
Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicks off a stretch of three out of the next four at New Era Field, with the lone road trip a visit to the New York Jets. Win their home games, and the Bills will be legitimate playoff contenders.
Here are all the details you need for Sunday's game, plus five things we'll be watching for:
• TV: FOX. Announcers: Chris Myers (play by play), Daryl Johnston (color analyst).
• Series history: Buccaneers lead, 7-3. This will be just the second trip to Buffalo for Tampa Bay. The Bills won the first game between the two teams in Orchard Park, 33-20, back in 2009.
• Uni watch: The Bills are going with blue jerseys and white pants against the Bucs.
• Did you know? The Bills will be looking to hold their opponent to 20 points or less in the sixth consecutive game. If they are to do so, it would mark just the ninth time in franchise history they’ve gone six games in a row and the first time since 2002-03.
• Next up: The Bills host the Oakland Raiders, who will be without suspended running back Marshawn Lynch, in Week Eight.
Here are five things to watch against the Buccaneers:
1. Did Rick Dennison find some answers over the bye week? The Bills' offensive coordinator is going to start feeling the heat soon if he can't figure out a way to get more out of the running game. With a week to make some necessary adjustments, there is no excuse Sunday. The Bills simply have to get LeSean McCoy going. Tampa Bay gave up 160 rushing yards last week against Arizona, so the opportunity should be there.
2. Will Tre'Davious White get the No. 1 cornerback treatment? The Bills are expected to have E.J. Gaines back in the lineup Sunday, which means White likely won't have to shadow the Bucs' No. 1 receiver, like he did against the Bengals in Week Five and A.J. Green. But what happens if Mike Evans (or DeSean Jackson) start to heat up for Tampa Bay? Would the Bills consider giving White the responsibility of matching up with him on every play?
3. Have the Bills settled on an offensive line? Left tackle Cordy Glenn was taken off the injury report, but coach Sean McDermott still hasn't committed to him starting against Tampa Bay. There is also still a competition going on at right guard between John Miller and Vlad Ducasse. The sooner the Bills settle on their starting five, the better it will be for forming some cohesion along the line.
4. Can two players replace one? With tight end Charles Clay out of the lineup, the Bills will turn to Nick O'Leary and Logan Thomas at tight end. O'Leary figures to get most of the snaps, but Thomas will play an important role, as well. After making his first career catch against the Bengals, Thomas will be looking for more against Tampa Bay. His speed makes him more of a deep threat than O'Leary.
5. How healthy is Jameis Winston? The Buccaneers' starting quarterback suffered a sprained throwing shoulder last week. He threw in practice for just one day leading up to Sunday's game. The Bills will surely try to test Winston's arm strength while also being physical with him to see what kind of condition he's in.