The Buffalo Bills are now 6-3 on the season following a gut-wrenching 19-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns, a team a loss away from their season being over.
Blame the offense, they deserve it. Blame the coaching too, they deserve it.
The Bills were out-coached by an offensive staff for Cleveland that had 11 opportunities at the Bills' one-yard line and came away with just three points. Freddie Kitchens was likely a loss away from needing gainful employment, and the Bills found a way to score only 16 points – the seventh time this season the offense has scored two or fewer touchdowns in a game.
The thing that will stick with many Bills fans from this game was the head-scratching, and downright embarrassing coaching decisions that ultimately lead to a missed 53-yard field goal that sealed their fate.
The Bills took over the football with 1:44 on the clock and one timeout in hand after Cleveland had just re-taken the lead. They have a quarterback in Josh Allen who leads the entire league in fourth quarter passer rating. They found themselves driving into Stephen Hauschka’s comfort zone. That’s when a sequence of roughly 40-seconds that has me second-guessing the overall competence of head coach Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
We just got a sneak peek into the DNA of this Bills coaching staff, and I, for one, am disgusted. A touchdown wins you the football game outright. You have a timeout to spare. You have four yards to extend the drive. Your kicker missed an easy 34-yard kick earlier in the game.
Knowing all of that, the Bills decided to waste more than 30-seconds off the clock just to line up to take a half-hearted shot to a covered receiver down the field. Oh, then they took their timeout to ice their own kicker.
The coach is 1-of-12 in two-and-a-half years throwing the challenge flag, the offense has been consistently bad regardless of the quarterback or scheme, and the quarterback can’t hit a throw further than 20 yards down field.
The Bills head down to Miami next week with an opportunity to get to seven wins against a 2-7 Dolphins team, but this loss will stick with most of us for a while.