Let the second-guessing begin.
The Buffalo Bills’ decision to play running back LeSean McCoy on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins looks extra dubious after he left in the third quarter of a 28-25 loss at Hard Rock Stadium.
McCoy simply wasn’t himself, rushing eight times for 11 yards before leaving. He was questionable for the game after suffering a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s practice. If No. 2 running back Mike Gillislee can’t be trusted to handle the load for a week against the 31st-ranked rushing defense in the league, why is he on the roster?
Then there’s quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Yes, he was without his top two receivers in Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Yes, McCoy wasn’t right. Yes, the protection from his offensive line broke down far too often. But don’t franchise quarterbacks have to find a way? When the Bills got the ball back with 3:56 remaining in the fourth quarter trailing by four points, Taylor threw three straight incompletions. He just doesn't inspire much confidence in those situations.
Then there’s all that talk about the Bills being a dominant defense. That’s hard to justify when Jay Ajayi rips through it for 214 yards. The red-zone defense, which had been so good coming in, fell to pieces in the second half. It certainly would have been nice if Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was actually on the field to help, but he’s missed seven games and counting this season, four by suspension and three because of a hamstring injury. The nail in the coffin came when Ryan Tannehill connected on a 66-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills, who beat cornerback Ronald Darby. The Bills' cornerbacks, who were thought to be the strength of their defense, have now had a big hand in two divisional losses, factoring in their meltdown against the Jets in Week Two.
If the Bills' season goes south from here – which feels entirely possible given their injuries (safety Aaron Williams also left Sunday with a scary-looking head and/or neck injury) and the upcoming schedule – it will be easy to look back at Sunday afternoon in South Florida as the beginning of the end.