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Jay Skurski's fourth-quarter analysis: Playoff hopes officially put out of their misery

The official time of death on the Buffalo Bills' 2015 season can be recorded as 4:07 p.m., Dec. 20, 2015.

The listed cause should be defense. Or a lack there of it.

After the Bills cut their deficit to 11 points, the defense simply could not get a stop when it needed to the most. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins completed his fourth touchdown of the game with a 5-yard pass to Pierre Garcon to put the game – and the playoffs – out of reach for the Bills.

Cousins finished with five total touchdowns and a passer rating of 153.7 -- just about 5 points shy of a perfect 158.3 rating.

The Bills' eighth loss of the season means they can not catch nine-win teams Kansas City or the New York Jets, meaning its now 16 straight years with a trip to the postseason.

Protection breakdowns: Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was sacked five times, and escaped pressure several other times with his running ability. The last sack came from Redskins linebacker Preston Smith, and it left Taylor shaken up, although he was able to stay in the game.

Key stat: The Redskins went 7 of 11 on third downs in the game, and at one point were 7 for 9 before they were content to keep the clock running on their final two possessions. On Washington's final touchdown drive, the Bills gave up third-down conversions of 16 and 6 yards, respectively.

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