Offensive performance leaves LeSean McCoy searching for answers


In the wake of the team's latest defeat it was clear that LeSean McCoy's pride was hurt. Their Monday night loss to the Patriots, that was largely due to an offense that again could not string positive plays together, left him frustrated. The Bills feature back was troubled that they haven't been able to support a defense that on the whole has kept the them in games.

"It's real frustrating," said a subdued McCoy after the game. "We put a lot of work and effort into our craft and your job and the results and the outcomes are like the same. You see the defense out there just grinding. So it's frustrating."

Buffalo has scored just two touchdowns in their last four games and has seen their points per game average fall from 16.6 to 10.8 over the past month.

They've reached the red zone just six times on their last 56 possessions. Fourteen times they've gone three and out. Fourteen other times the possession has resulted in a turnover.

As for the rest of the possessions in that cluster, a big part of the problem is the struggle to gain positive yardage on first down. It often puts the offense in long down and distance situations that they can't overcome.

"Early down success we haven't been able to have that," said head coach Sean McDermott. "We talk about it and practice it. We just haven't been able to get it going."

“The hard work we put in. The hard work I’ve put in my whole life, my career, for it to happen like this every game. It’s tough. We’ll watch tape, learn from it and try to get better.” Running back LeSean McCoy

The run game is at the root of that issue. McCoy got off to a good start rushing for 12 yards on his first carry out of a Wildcat look that caught the Patriots off guard, but the success proved fleeting.

On McCoy's next 11 carries he gained just 11 yards to average 1.1 per carry for the game. At the midway point of the season he has just 257 rushing yards and is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry.

For a player who in his last four meetings with the Patriots had gone for over 100 total yards for scrimmage, it has been a difficult pill to swallow.

"I thought it'd be a better game running-wise," he said. "I usually run the ball well on them. I'm just disappointed we're not doing well. We're not winning. I'm not putting up numbers. I'm not used to not winning games."

McCoy still has the talent to make game-changing plays, but defenses feel safe keying on him feeling there are few other viable threats that the Bills can use to victimize a defense paying too much attention to the Pro Bowl back.

Though McCoy wasn't happy with his own performance, he does see a bunch of problems they have to fix as an offensive unit.

"Everything is fixable in this sport," he said. "It's a matter of will it get fixed? It'll take a lot of different things. Playing smarter. Not getting in third and long possessions. Be better on first down. I could name a bunch of stuff."

What troubles McCoy is despite being through a 4-12 season in his career, he said this season just feels different with the struggles they've had offensively.

"On offense we're not really doing well at all," he said. "A lot of small mental mistakes, ton of penalties. I've got what, 200 yards, that's never happened with me. So yeah, it's a different season. I'm 30-years old. I've been playing since high school. This stuff has never happened.

"The hard work we put in. The hard work I've put in my whole life, my career, for it to happen like this every game. It's tough. We'll watch tape, learn from it and try to get better."