Sounds like McDermott is ready for some offensive changes
By: Nick Wojton
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Buffalo Bills outgained the Jacksonville Jaguars on offense, 263 yards to 230.
The buck stops there for the Bills offense. There were questionable plays called and a lack of execution. Like most of the season, the Bills only had a prayer at the end of the game thanks to their defense.
Following Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott sounded like he’s had enough.
“You don’t get anything for effort in this game. It’s won and lost on the scoreboard so we need to score more points,” McDermott said. “There are no moral victories, I don’t believe in those.”
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor left the game on the final drive after his head was slammed on the turf when he was tackled by Dante Fowler from behind on a scramble up the middle. It was a scary scene and Taylor’s in the concussion protocol. Against the second-ranked defense this season, Taylor went 17-for-34 with 134 yards and an interception.
Per NFL rules, Taylor will likely not speak to the media on locker cleanout day on Monday. Based on McDermott’s postgame comments, it sounds like Taylor could be leaving the Bills without saying a word.
First McDermott put on a happy face discussing Taylor, saying he played with class and pride. But like effort, those also don’t put points on the scoreboard. Past that, McDermott was critical; however, he did not directly aim things at Taylor.
“We had opportunities to move the ball at times and we hurt ourselves,” McDermott said.
Breaking it down, McDermott was critical toward Taylor at the most critical point of the game for the Buffalo offense. On fourth-and-one, Stephen Hauschka lined up for a chip shot. Telvin Smith hopped offside and the Bills had new life from the Jacksonville one-yard line. That didn’t go according to plan.
Taylor chucked a fade pass toward Kelvin Benjamin. He was covered by Jalen Ramey.
Upon further review, it appeared the offensive line was run blocking, not pass blocking. LeSean McCoy even looked surprised he didn’t get the ball. McCoy confirmed to the media after the game that the play was a run-pass option. Taylor went for the low-percentage pass against the Jags’ top corner.
McCoy even had some displeasure.
“We probably should have ran that,” McCoy said. “We were at the two-yard line, whether it was myself or Mike Tolbert. I think we should have put the ball on the ground. Then again, it’s not my call and I don’t judge it, because there are times where I don’t think we should do something, we do it and it works out.”
McDermott was definitely not happy.
“There are some calls we want back, that’s probably one of them,” McDermott said.
It wasn’t Taylor’s fault Benjamin took a pass interference penalty, but it was a bad decision to throw.
As prior mentioned, the defense was not to blame in the loss. Jacksonville scored their lone touchdown on a gutsy gamble of their own from the goal line. McDermott agreed with that logic.
“I thought they played (the defense) most of the day. They shut down the running game for the most part. I know Bortles was their leading rusher, I believe. So usually, that doesn’t beat you. I thought we did a good job on 27 (Leonard Fournette). We gave our offense chances,” McDermott said.
Quarterback Blake Bortles did the most damage to the Bills. Oddly enough he did so with his feet. It was a reason the Bills lost. Bortles had 88 yards rushing and 87 yards passing. McDermott, furthering his displeasure with the offense, said Bortles runs were not why the Bills lost.
McDermott’s complaints were actually refreshing. He did accept some positives from the season, breaking a 17-year playoff drought in your first season is a good start.
But put those pieces together. Complimenting your defense and thumping your offense? Sounds to me like whether it involves Taylor or offense coordinator Rick Dennison or others, some changes are coming to that 29th-ranked offense.
“It’s a step,” McDermott said in regard to the season overall. “We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time, that said, we’re not where we need to be, that’s obvious. We still want to be playing and we’re not playing next week.
When we came in here we set a vision and put forward a plan to accomplish that vision and we’re not there yet.”
Following the loss, the Bills will hold locker clean out day on Monday starting at 9:45 a.m.