After losing to the Miami Dolphins despite a huge disparity in offensive output, Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is putting his team on notice.
McDermott was critical of Buffalo’s performance in the 21-19 loss on Sunday, a game in which the Bills dominated on offense but suffered a number of costly mistakes. Buffalo had several chances to win the game, but they slipped away in the sweltering Miami heat and allowed the 3-0 Dolphins to claim early supremacy in the AFC East.
McDermott Speaks Out on Bills Loss
The Bills dominated Sunday’s game in nearly all aspects outside of the scoreboard. As CBS Sports researcher Connor Groel noted, the Bills outgained the Dolphins 497-212, setting a franchise record for best total yards margin in a loss. The Bills ran 90 total plays, holding the ball for 40:40. The Dolphins ran 39 plays and possessed the ball for 19:20.
But the Bills had a number of miscues that left points on the board. A bobbled snap just before halftime prevented quarterback Josh Allen from spiking the ball, robbing the Bills of the chance for a field goal attempt. Linebacker Matt Milano dropped an interception when he would have had a clear land to the endzone. Kicker Tyler Bass had an uncharacteristic miss from 38 yards, and receiver Gabe Davis was unable to hold onto what would have been a touchdown catch.
After the game, McDermott offered some critical remarks, saying the Bills should have been able to win given those disparities.
“When you look at the difference in the game, I think we had almost 500 yards to their 212, roughly,” McDermott said, via the Buffalo News. “You should win those games.”
Allen Takes Blame for Bills Loss
Allen also faced some criticism for his play in the loss, even though he set career records with 42 completions on 63 attempts, racking up 400 yards and two touchdowns.
“Just didn’t play good situational football tonight,” Allen said. “Our defense played very well. Special teams had a really good day. Offensive side of the ball, we didn’t take care of business, and that starts with me.”
Allen was also critical of the team’s missed opportunities, some of which were due to execution and others due to Miami’s aggressive defense.
“We really beat ourselves tonight,” Allen said. “Credit to them, they had a really good game plan. They came out and did what they had to do. There’s obviously plays we want back, and that’s going to happen over the course of every single game, this one especially.”
The game had a number of extenuating circumstances, especially the unusually long injury report for the Bills. The were without All-Pro safety Micah Hyde, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve before the game. Fellow All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer was ruled out on Sunday, and cornerback Dane Jackson was out as well. Jackson’s replacement, rookie cornerback Christian Benford, went down during the game with a broken hand.
The other injuries suffered during the game were almost too many to count. But Bills offensive lineman Rodger Saffold said the team isn’t excusing away the loss.
“Honestly, I feel like it’s a bunch of excuses if we even go into that,” Saffold said, via the Buffalo News. “Because to me, we knew who were going up against. We knew we had a short week. Those are all things that are part of the game, are part of the schedule. Don’t want to take anything from the Dolphins, they had a good plan. We were able to move the ball to field and just struggled getting into the end zone.”