Bills coaches didn’t burn the tape from Sunday’s blowout loss to the Patriots, but watching it again Monday proved just as ugly as seeing it live.
“The tape showed nothing that wasn’t to be expected,” Rex Ryan said. “Obviously New England played well, deserved the game and they were clearly the better team that day. The biggest thing for me – what was really disappointing to me – is that we played poorly. That’s as simple as that, best as I can put it.”
It was a tough day all around. Asked specifically how he felt his safeties did in their first full game without Aaron Williams, Ryan said they played “kind of like the way the rest of the team played. It wasn’t our best, certainly.”
Ryan wouldn’t say what the coverage was supposed to be on Chris Hogan’s 53-yard touchdown – after which cornerback Stephon Gilmore seemed awful upset with his safeties, thinking one of them would’ve provided help over the top – but agreed that Gilmore has experienced his share of struggles.
“Well, I think the season as a whole was kind of up and down, and maybe in the game it was as well,” Ryan said of Gilmore, motioning his hand up and down like a wave. “Two or three holding calls and obviously had a big mistake on that Hogan touchdown, whether it was communication or whatever the breakdown was. So it wasn’t a great performance on his part. I’m sure he’d like to have some plays back.”
Ryan was also asked to explain some other blunders, including being penalized a timeout for throwing the challenge flag in the final two minutes when all challenges have to come from the booth. The explanation was that he essentially threw the flag out of spite after referees wouldn’t review a play to credit rookie Jonathan Williams for his first career touchdown, erroneously ruling him down short of the goal line.
“That was stupid on my part,” Ryan said. “I was upset because I told the (refs) I can’t challenge it. I said, I can’t throw the red flag; it’s inside of two minutes, I can’t challenge. I said, but it’s clearly a touchdown, can you please review it? You guys know it is, please review it. I know the game doesn’t matter, the game’s over, I get it. But it’d be nice if this kid gets a touchdown. I said, it’s clearly a touchdown. So they didn’t do it and I did something stupid.”
Williams ended up scoring on the next play.
Asked about Reggie Bush’s strange pitch back to quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the fourth quarter, Ryan said Bush had the option to throw a pass or run on that play. Ryan said he was trying to keep the play alive by getting the ball back to Taylor but should’ve just thrown it out of bounds.
Some shortcomings, though, couldn't be explained. Ryan still had no answers on how to stop tight end Rob Gronkowski.
"He beat our corners, he beat our safeties, he beat our nickel," Ryan said. "He beat whatever the coverage was, so, he had a big day."
Ryan said that he hopes to have linebacker Lorenzo Alexander back next week against Seattle after losing him to a hamstring injury during the first half Sunday. Ryan said he regrets continuing to use Alexander so much on special teams now that he has such a large role on defense.
Running back LeSean McCoy is “progressing” with his hamstring injury, Ryan said, though they’ll have to wait until practice picks up on Thursday to see if he’ll be available this week. With the game on Monday night, the Bills won’t fly to Seattle until Sunday.
If there’s any doubt on their injured players, Ryan could decide to hold them out an give them extra time to recover with the bye week ahead.