Bills: McDermott explains his decision to punt ball in OT vs. Colts
By: Nick Wojton
ORCHARD PARK – In December of 2016 with a tie game in overtime, then-Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan decided to punt the ball away to the Miami Dolphins in a snow-filled game. The Bills lost.
Nearly a year later, the coach is different, but the decision was the same. With 4:13 remaining against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at New Era Field, the new-look Bills with head coach Sean McDermott steering the ship, the Bills did it again.
McDermott sent out punter Colton Schmidt to kick from the Colts’ 41.
A tie was a good as a loss for the Bills, but Buffalo dodged a bullet, got the ball back as the Colts only ran 1:42 off the clock on a five-play drive, and won 13-7. Deonte Thompson hauled in a 35-yard deep ball from Joe Webb and LeSean McCoy hustled in a 21-yard run for the game-winning score on the ensuing drive.
McDermott’s reason was the excepted answer.
“Well, field position,” McDermott said. “That was big in this game with the conditions the way they were. I felt in our defense, if we were able to pin them deep, that we would get off the field and get the ball back, which we were able to do.”
Following the game, players were supportive of McDermott’s decision.
“We knew if we needed to get a stop and if we did that the offense was going to get it back for us and look what happened,” rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White said.
Same could be said for the offensive side of the ball sitting on the edge of their seats and praying their defensive unit could get the ball back.
“We trust our defense. As we got to the sideline, we said ‘we’ll get the ball back. Everybody believed we’d get the ball back and we got the ball back,” Thompson said. “We didn’t weather at all, man. We stick together.”
Thompson reaffirmed that he did not question McDermott’s decision as well.
“Nah, nah,” Thompson said.
For more from McDermott on Sunday’s win over the Colts, see the attached video below for his post game press conference: