Orchard Park, N.Y. (WBEN/WGR 550) - It was a day of reflection for the Buffalo Bills on Monday just shy of 24 hours after a sudden, but disappointing end to the 2022 season with a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional Round.
The Bills came out of the gate flat against a Bengals team that seemed to ready to capitalize on their opportunity to return to the AFC Championship Game. Buffalo was only able to muster up 325 total yards of offense and score just 10 points in a 27-10 loss at Highmark Stadium.
During end-of-season press conferences on Monday, a number of players felt the team "ran out of gas" as they had no answers on how to stop the Bengals or respond to a big drive that saw them give up a touchdown.
When breaking down and evaluating Sunday's loss a little more in-depth, Bills head coach Sean McDermott believes while you can't discount his team running out of gas in the AFC Divisional Round, it cannot be used as an excuse.
"We got beat on the football field, and sometimes your energy is taken from you when the game's not going your way and they're having their way, the other team," said McDermott during his end-of-season press conference on Monday. "We were playing from behind early, and we had a hard time catching up. So that drains you of your energy after a while when you're playing from behind the way we were. I think there's always things that come up through a season, and our team did a phenomenal, phenomenal job of handling those areas, probably more than any team I've been around or any team, in terms of what they've gone through this season. But that said, they're not excuses as to why we get the result we got."
On top of breaking down Sunday's loss a bit further, McDermott was asked about the outlook of the team going forward, some thoughts on the future of team personnel, and much more.
Here's more of what McDermott had to say:
McDermott on failing to get "over the hump" in the playoffs:
"We've had success, obviously not the success that we all want, which is to win the Super Bowl. But the journey continues, and we won't stop until we get there. That's the vision moving forward. We're all frustrated on a day after a loss in the divisional round, that's for sure. I'm extremely proud of how far this organization has come, but not satisfied."
McDermott on closing the gap to where the team needs to be:
"I'm a big believer in 'you are who you are' in the last game of the season, in terms of what you saw on the field. That's what you have to address. So obviously, we weren't good enough [Sunday], and we need to address those areas and do what's necessary to get this organization to the Super Bowl."
McDermott on the passing game as the 2022 season progressed:
"I thought earlier on in the year, we were getting the ball out a little bit quicker at times. And then later on in the year, we were maybe working the ball down the field, and maybe sometimes too much. That's an area that we have to look hard at this offseason and evolve as an offense, in that regard."
McDermott on the future of the Ken Dorsey and Leslie Frazier on the coaching staff:
"I'm not gonna get into the staff right now. Obviously not even 24 hours past yesterday's game, so I'm just finished with the exit interviews with the players, and we met as a team."
McDermott on Jordan Poyer's future with the Bills:
"I've spoken many of times about Jordan and what he's meant to this organization, this defense. He's a tough football player, he's been through a lot. He's been one of the biggest leaders on our team, and I'm extremely grateful for the way he's led our football team and the way he's played. Obviously this year was tough, not having Micah [Hyde] back in there with him, and he persevered through some injuries as well. So we'll just see what the future holds, at this point forward."
McDermott on the play of the defensive line this season:
"I thought we were probably more inconsistent than I would have liked to have seen this year, in particular after Von [Miller] went down. I thought each one of those guys had their games where they played well. Just overall, as a group, I felt like we were a little bit too inconsistent, and yesterday being the latest example of that."
McDermott on addressing some needs on the offensive side of the football in the offseason:
"It's what we value, the positions that we value, because you can't pay everyone and you can't go get all elite players at every position. It's unrealistic in the modern salary cap era here. We have to place proper value on the positions that we feel will help us win a Super Bowl, and then find those players at those positions that are gonna help us win."
McDermott on Stefon Diggs showing his emotions after Sunday's loss:
"'Stef's' a highly competitive individual, as we all know, and that's part of the reason why we all love him. He's frustrated, like we all are. He was in today, and he and I spoke. And I'll leave it at that."
McDermott on Josh Allen's elbow injury, possible surgery:
"I have not spoken to Nate [Breske] about it. I interacted with Josh today and saw him, and we spoke for quite a while. It does not appear that, and we really just talked about his overall health, at that point. But I've not heard anything the other way from Nate, at this point, so I wouldn't expect that to be the case."
McDermott on the play of Tremaine Edmunds this season:
"I thought he had his best year. I really believe that. I think you saw him grow from a leadership standpoint, you saw him grow from a performance standpoint. I know he's just got that attitude that he wants to continue to improve."
You can listen to the entirety of McDermott's end-of-season press conference in the player below: