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Bills look ahead to Sunday's home opener: 'Any home game in Orchard Park is special'

Buffalo will play its first home game of the season when it hosts the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — For Bills coach Sean McDermott, the excitement for home games in Orchard Park starts well before kickoff.

"The environment, the cookouts that are going on, I really enjoy driving into the stadium in the morning and watching people hanging out, having fun, spending time with family, spending time with friends," McDermott said.

He'll get to see that once again on Sunday when the Bills play at Highmark Stadium for the first time this season, hosting the Las Vegas Raiders.

Buffalo is coming off a 22-16 overtime loss in the season opener Monday night at the New York Jets, but now returns to Orchard Park and a place where the team has fared well in home openers.

Since 2017, when McDermott took over as head coach, the Bills are 4-2 in home openers, including a 41-7 thumping of the Tennessee Titans last season. 

McDermott and Buffalo have given Bills Mafia plenty of reason to be loud over the past six seasons after winning three consecutive division titles, and the Bills' head coach appreciates the energy the home crowd brings at Highmark Stadium.

"I think any home game in Orchard Park is special," McDermott said. "It really is. I mean, it's an incredible atmosphere unlike any around the NFL, maybe similar in some ways to Lambeau [Field].

The Raiders come into town with a 1-0 record, after winning 17-16 against the Broncos in Denver to open the season. 

However, the Bills have won the last two meetings against the Raiders, most recently a 30-23 victory in Las Vegas during the 2020 season.

McDermott and the Bills are expecting a raucous environment they hope can help lift them to a third straight victory over Las Vegas, and the first win of the season."

"It's not like at some stadiums where at kickoff it's half full and it's going to fill in a little bit," McDermott said. "They're here right at the start, which I love."

"Extremely grateful for this opportunity for us at home," said safety Jordan Poyer. "Home opener, it's going to be rocking."

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