A Buffalo Bills season that started with Super Bowl aspirations ended short of the AFC Championship game, and some fans believe it should also be the end of the line for head coach Sean McDermott.
McDermott offered no excuses for the team’s 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on January 22, a game in which the Bengals dominated on both sides of the ball and the Bills made some costly mistakes.
Speaking to reporters after the game, McDermott said the Bills tried to make adjustments but couldn’t stop the Bengals on defense.
“We had a feel for them. It wasn’t a surprise,” McDermott said. “After that first drive and a half, I thought we adjusted and knew what they were doing without getting into the details on it here. We had a hard time stopping them at the same time. The challenge with that offense is, you commit to stopping the run and then they got three really good receivers that are, one on one, tough matchups for you. I thought we came in with a good game plan, we adjusted through it, and at the end of the day it wasn’t enough.”
But some fans put the blame on McDermott, calling for the Bills to move on and find a coach who can get them over the hump.
Sean McDermott Under Fire From Bills Fans
Even before the final gun sounded on the divisional-round playoff loss, some Bills fans were taking to Twitter to point the finger at McDermott. Some believed the Bills appeared unprepared, while others questioned his decision-making.
“It’s time to fire McDermott,” one fan tweeted. “Good coach but will never get us to the promise land. Maybe trade for Sean Payton.”
But other fans came to McDermott’s defense, pointing out how he took a franchise on a 17-year playoff drought and turned them into a perennial Super Bowl contender. Others said that some assistant coaches deserve blame for the rough end to the season.
“I don’t want McDermott fired,” another tweeted. “I want [offensive coordinator Ken] Dorsey much improved in year 2. I do think it’s time to consider moving on from [defensive coordinator Leslie] Frazier. Especially if an upgrade is out there.”
Sean McDermott Remains Hopeful for Bills’ Future
Even with the bitter end to a season that the Bills had entered as Super Bowl favorites, McDermott said he believed there was a bright future for the Bills. When asked after the game if he thought the team’s Super Bowl window could be closing, McDermott said he believed the Bills could grow from the experience and continue to contend.
“No. No, this is a good football team,” McDermott said. “And you learn from things like this. You keep knocking on the door. That’s what you do. You stay steadfast in your focus and your approach. You work your tail off. Again, that’s a good football team we just played, and they played better than we did tonight. They coached better than we did tonight. And we’ve got to learn from this and make the proper adjustments as we move forward. Staying in the moment tonight, I don’t want to get into any evaluations and all that type of stuff, but obviously disappointed in the result.”