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What they're saying: Bills lament missed opportunities in loss to Cincinnati

Posted Oct 8, 2017

Sean McDermott, Tyrod Taylor, Jordan Poyer, Brandon Tate and other discuss Sunday's loss and where the team is headed after the bye week.

Head Coach Sean McDermott

- Bills are tied for first place in the AFC East (3-2)

- Bills have allowed six touchdowns in the first five games (the third-lowest total in team history)

Any consolation to be 3-2 and tied for first going into the bye?

        “I know the guys have worked extremely hard. We’ve made a lot of progress, but never as much as you’d like, which was clear today. My biggest focus right now is learning from this game, and moving forward, continuing to grow, continuing to build as a team, and looking to take the next step.”

Did Cincinnati change anything defensively during the second half? You were moving the ball in the first half. You were five of 10 on third downs, and in the second half things sputtered for you guys. Did they change anything defensively?

        “No, they played (well), solid defense. That’s a good defense. We have to learn from it, and continue to improve on our end.”

Would you agree that your run game, outside the first game, really hasn’t broken out and had one of those days that this running game is used to? If you don’t run the ball, does that really put your offense behind the eight ball, given the receiver situation?

        “I think it’s true of any offense — if you become one dimensional, that’s not good. We’ve got to make sure we can run the football, and run our style of offense. There have been times that we’ve done it, and there have been times we haven’t. We’ve got to continue to grow and get better there.”

You talked about missed opportunities. Until the late interception, you were 3-0 in the turnover battle. Is that a type of game a coach feels you just can’t lose that?

        “Like I said earlier, you want to take advantage of those opportunities. That’s what taking the ball away is for. Usually when you take the ball away, at that point you said 3-0, you feel you’re in pretty good shape. We’ve got to go back, look at the film, evaluate what we did well, and evaluate what we didn’t do well, and it’s also evaluating fundamentals. We’ve got a lot to learn from this game, and we’ve got to use it as we continue to grow and build with our football team.”

QB Tyrod Taylor

- Threw his 43rd career touchdown pass

- Tied a season-high with 20 completions

The passing game, once tight end Charles Clay went out, it just never got on track today. How tough was it to not have him out there?

        “It was definitely tough, but we didn’t make enough plays on offense (to win). I’ll take full responsibility for that one. It just wasn’t a great offensive performance. We had a bunch of opportunities and left some plays out there on the field. We didn’t convert a couple turnovers that the defense did a good job in (providing us on offense) ... The offense didn’t play the way we needed to to win against a very good defense, and like I said, I’ll take full responsibility for that.”

What changed in the second half?

        “Just from the natural feel of the guys, I think when you come out and go three-and-out right after halftime, it definitely wasn’t our plan. We had a specific plan and wanted to stay on track with — that we drew up at halftime — and that three-and-out definitely hurt us. We have to get better at coming out after the half. That’s something we haven’t done well with. That’s something we have to improve moving forward to be the team that we want to be.

        “That’s one of many things we can correct from this game.”

Nick O’Leary had to fill the void for Clay at tight end today and you went to him a lot. Were you happy with his performance?

        “Nick played his butt off. He got twisted up on one of those plays that looked scary from my viewpoint, but he battled, he competed and he did what we asked him to do. I’m proud of him. Ultimately, as an offense, we just didn’t get the job today. The defense did a great job of getting us the ball back but on offense, we laid an egg.”

S Jordan Poyer

- Became the first Bill with an interception and a fumble recovery in the same game since Bacarri Rambo in 2015

How do you feel about losing a game where you had three takeaways?

        “It’s frustrating. At the end of the day, when we create three turnovers, we have to find a way to get the ball into the end zone. Somehow, some way, we need to figure out how to get the ball into the end zone. It’s a tough loss.”

It seems like you executed the tip drill well today ...

        “We do ball drills every day. All of our positions have hands capable of picking the ball off. Ball skills are a big thing that we work on throughout the week.”

With that many takeaways, you usually come away with a win ...

        “Yeah, when you get three, you’d think you’d come out with a win. We have to find ways to get the win. We had our opportunities. I let the tight end get inside of me on third down. If I make that stop, we could’ve made them punt the ball instead of playing from behind. I take a lot of the blame on that last drive.”

 What’s the team’s mindset going into the bye-week at 3-2?

        “We have to get better. It’s not the end of the world, we just lost a game. We have to learn from it and go out there and be better. We have a lot of time to prepare for whoever we have next — I don’t know, I don’t care — we’ve got to find ways to be better and focus on ourselves.”

WR Brandon Tate

- Recorded his first touchdown as a Bill with a 12-yard touchdown reception

On the touchdown play, it looked like you slid in at the last second ...

        “Yes, it was a good throw by the quarterback and a good job by the offensive line holding their blocks. We need to execute better.”

RB LeSean McCoy

- Rushed for a team-high 63 yards and added 26 yards on six receptions

How big of a missed opportunity do you feel like today was given the turnovers and the one big return by Brandon Tate?

        “It was. It’s tough to not get any points, (or rather) touchdowns. As a fan in the stands, you see how this game goes, and it’s like, ‘Dang’ — you see the momentum shifting for us (and the game is) for us for the taking. And that’s tough, at least in my mind, once you see the turnovers, the returns — for sure we’re going to win the game or (at the least) get points.

        “We practice these plays, we practice this type of situation each week ... And then when it doesn’t happen, it’s frustrating.”

How hard is it to have the type of production you’ve had as a unit these last four games compared to what you’re used to as a running back?

        “It’s tough, you know? No one judges a game like myself, so I’m angry about it but at the end of the day, we’re 3-2. We’re in a good situation ... We’ve just got to keep plugging at it. It’s hard but it’s like respect: There are certain routes, certain bracketing in coverages, (and) and all the attention is on the (running) back, so as much as I want to be angry, we’ve just got to adjust to it and figure out a way to beat it. We’ll get there.

        “Hopefully, we’ll get it going. Today would have been a great day to get it going, to get over that hump. We’re right there.”

LB Preston Brown

- Posted eight tackles

With that many takeaways, you usually come away with a win ...

        “Yeah, when you get three, you’d think you’d come out with a win. We have to find ways to get the win. We had our opportunities. I let the tight end get inside of me on third down. If I make that stop, we could’ve made them punt the ball instead of playing from behind. I take a lot of the blame on that last drive.”

What’s the team’s mindset going into the bye-week at 3-2?

        “We have to get better. It’s not the end of the world, we just lost a game. We have to learn from it and go out there and be better. We have a lot of time to prepare for whoever we have next — I don’t know, I don’t care — we’ve got to find ways to be better and focus on ourselves.”