Bills wide receiver Robert Woods went over 100 yards receiving for the first time since November 24, 2014, but his 106-yard day against the Eagles on Sunday was almost entirely wiped out by 101 Bills penalty yards.
Woods caught five passes for 106 yards, including gains of 37 and 32 yards. It was his best performance since he picked up 118 yards on nine catches in last season's Week 12 victory vs the Jets. Those numbers don't mean anything to Woods, however, after a game in which his team committed 15 penalties. Those penalties canceled out all but four of Woods' total yards.
His big statistical day isn't much of a moral victory after a game his team needed to win to remain in playoff contention. After the game, Woods said his 106 yards "rang hollow."
"We put ourselves in good situations, and then we mess it up," he said. "We just have to be a disciplined team. We've been saying it since Week One, and it cost us the game."
Head coach Rex Ryan agreed, and he expressed his disappointment at the lectern.
"We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We had penalty after penalty," said Ryan. "[We'd] get a first down. Penalty . . . Penalty. Penalty. Penalty. That was the difference. We were moving the ball up and down the field on them. [Penalties were] the difference. We never let ourselves get in any kind of rhythm because we're backed up. It's now first-and-20 or third-and-15 or whatever it is, and when you're behind the sticks, it's tough to do anything.
"We got I don't know how many holding calls, but it looked like it was a record out there.
"It was a disgrace that we had way [so] many penalties. I know that. That's on us," Ryan said.
Woods season-best day got off to a quick start. On the first play of the Bills second drive, Taylor hit the third-year receiver deep over the middle for 32 yards. That pitch-and-catch kick-started a four-play, 80-yard touchdown drive for the Bills, their first score of the game.
With just under eight minutes on the clock in the third quarter, Taylor found Woods for a 37-yard reception. Woods began his route slanting toward the middle of the field, but after a quick stop, he pivoted, escaped from cornerback Byron Maxwell, and hauled in the pass from Taylor before taking off down the right sideline. Woods also had receptions of 18, 11, and eight yards. He was Taylor's target on the interception thrown on the team's final offensive drive.
Woods, Taylor, and the rest of the Bills offense had no trouble moving the ball against the Eagles defense, but because of the penalties, Woods said his team put itself in too many bad situations.
"I think the thing that costs us was us hurting ourselves, penalties backing us up, second-and-longs," he said.
Woods did not even acknowledge his stat line as a positive, instead turning the focus onto the team's loss.
"We're fighting to get wins here, not stats," he said. "We're trying to win, and we fell short."