Brown: Feels good to have winning record, but have to keep improving

October 27, 2017
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For a second straight season, the Buffalo Bills sit at 4-2 in the standings after the first six games of the year.

Compared to last season, many players feel that this season's early 4-2 run is different. In 2016, the Bills ended up finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs, which resulted in the offseason changes that brought in head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane.

While there's no telling where this season is going to go under McDermott, Bills linebacker Preston Brown knows that there is still room for improvement as the season rolls along.

"It feels good to have a winning record. 4-2 is a good record right now, but we have got to keep improving," Brown said with Howard Simon on WGR Friday morning. "We have to keep finding ways to win games, we have to get better on defense. It seems like every week now they're scoring more and more points, so we've got to get back to what we were doing well with earlier in the season by limiting points. Hopefully we can continue to push out these wins."

The Bills will face a challenge this Sunday at New Era Field when the Oakland Raiders come to town following a thrilling win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football last week. The Raiders come in to Sunday's matchup at 3-4 in the standings after finishing last season with a 12-4 record and the AFC West division title.

Last week, the Bills gave up 447 yards of total offense to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but accounted for three turnovers on their way to a 30-27 win. Brown knows that if the Bills will want to grab their fifth win of the season this weekend, the entire defensive unit will need to shut down a Raiders offense that is capable of putting up some numbers.

"It's going to need a team effort. The [defensive] line needs more sacks, and we need more interceptions and pass break ups. Ryan Davis, Jerry Hughes, Jerel Worthy, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, all of those guys do a great job, but we have to do a better job in the back end so they can have a little bit more time to rest."

The Bills are facing some injuries as they head into Sunday's matchup with the Raiders. McDermott has already ruled cornerback E.J. Gaines out of Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, while safety Jordan Poyer remains unsure of his playing status with a knee injury. That's already on top of linebacker Ramon Humber's thumb injury that has sidelined him since Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons. With the injuries, it's all about the "next man up" mentality to fill in holes and provide some support for the defense.

"Everybody has to step up a little bit, but no body has to play outside of their game. Those guys do a great job up front, so hopefully we'll get there even faster with the secondary changes that we might have. I think the guys who'll come in the secondary will do a great job playing the ball as well. We all practice taking the ball away throughout the week, so hopefully we'll continue in the game."

One player the Bills defense will have to try and contain throughout the game on Sunday is quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders' second round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is already putting up a decent season with eleven touchdowns through the air, four interceptions, and a 64.9-percent completion rate. Carr helped lead the Raiders back to beat the Chiefs in the last seconds of the game last week, throwing for 417 yards and three touchdowns. If the Bills are going to shutdown the Raiders offense this week, Brown understands that it starts with limiting their starting quarterback.

"He gets the ball out extremely fast, so we have to get our hands up. Tipped balls will hopefully lead to interceptions and over-throws. We also have to hit him, legally. We can push him down, make him get back up, anything you can do to make a quarterback get off the ground will help us throughout the game."

"He controls everything [on offense]. He controls the offensive line, pass protection, run checks, screen checks, he's checking anything. If he sees a look, sees a mismatch, he'll do what he has to do. He's one of the best quarterbacks in this league."

You can listen to Brown's entire interview with Howard below: