SEATTLE – The Buffalo Bills are just about out of mulligans.
Monday night’s 31-25 loss to the Seattle Seahawks gives the team a razor-thin margin of error for the rest of the year if it hopes to avoid missing the playoffs for a 17th consecutive season. The Bills will likely have to win six of their final seven games to give themselves a chance at the postseason – a tall task for just about any team in the league.
"Obviously a tough loss," coach Rex Ryan said after the game. "We had way too many penalties, too many mistakes. With all that being said, we had a chance to win the game. I thought we should have. ... I told our team to empty the tank and they did. We prepared well all week. We gave everything we had and we came up short."
Here’s a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after the loss to the Seahawks.
Robert Woods – The fourth-receiver set career highs with 10 catches and 162 yards, making the “Legion of Boom” secondary his personal playground. It was the type of performance that makes you wonder “where’s that been all this time?” Woods looked to be 100 percent after dealing with a foot injury the past two weeks. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and chances are he made himself some good money Monday night.
LeSean McCoy – Shady looked like the MVP candidate of the first six weeks. His juke of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will be on a continuous loop of highlight reels. He finished with 85 yards on 21 carries and caught four passes for another 35 yards -- the fifth time in the last six games he's had at least 100 yards from scrimmage, and the 60th time in his career he's done that.
Jerry Hughes – His blocked punt in the first quarter set up Buffalo’s first touchdown. Some credit for that should go to special teams coordinator Danny Crossman, who noticed a weakness in Seattle’s rookie long snapper and decided to line Hughes up over him. Defensively, Hughes had three tackles and a sack.
Jordan Mills – He simply did not have an answer for Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril. It was similar to Week Seven when Mills struggled to handle Miami’s Cam Wake. After a mostly quiet first six weeks, that’s now two games in three weeks in which Mills was noticeably overmatched by an opponent. The sack he allowed on third and goal on the Bills’ final possession was one of the biggest plays of this season – in a bad way.
Ronald Darby – Coach Rex Ryan said Darby was sick, which begs the question , why was he on the field in the first place? “It’s my fault. I should have pulled him earlier,” Ryan said. “So that’s on me, because he’s a much better player than what showed right there. That was a mistake on my part. He gave us what he had.” That clearly wasn’t enough Monday, as Darby allowed a 50-yard reception to Doug Baldwin and took a pass interference penalty that set up a Seattle touchdown in the first half.
Nickell Robey-Coleman -- Truthfully, this could be just about any member of the Bills' secondary, given that it was carved up by Russell Wilson and Co. Robey-Coleman had a tough night, with a coverage grade of 38.3, according to analytics website Pro Football Focus. He was also beaten badly in the fourth quarter and was forced to take a pass-interference penalty to prevent what might have been a touchdown.