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Fourth-quarter analysis: Doug Marrone's decision to punt a fitting end to playoff hopes

Members of the national media find it hard to fathom why there is a segment of Buffalo Bills fans who would like coach Doug Marrone to be replaced after the season.

So, for them, I present the following situation: Fourth and 1, ball at the Buffalo 46-yard line, 8:22 left in the game and the Bills' playoff hopes on the line.

Marrone elects to punt. Seriously.

Of course, the Raiders proceeded to drive 80 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown that gave them a 26-17 lead.

Marrone's decision to punt in a similar situation against Kansas City in Week 10 also played a big part in that loss.

Those two results have played a huge part in why the Bills will miss the playoffs for a 15th straight season, the longest such streak in the NFL.

Onside issues: The Bills cut their deficit to 26-24 with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Robert Woods with 1:09 left in the game. But just like two weeks ago at Denver, the Bills couldn't execute an onside kick. The Bills were offside on the play, but it didn't matter because Charles Woodson recovered Jordan Gay's kick.

A rare miss: Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski gave the Bills a flicker of hope when he missed a 48-yard field goal coming out of the two-minute warning.

 

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