I thought long and hard about simply going, “command C, command V” on last week’s column -- it was headlined: Bills come away with this train wreck with a "win" -- and dropping it in here for you to read.
That’s because for the second straight week, the best thing I can say about the Buffalo Bills is they won. I suppose that’s really all that matters, but it’s hard to take this team seriously as a playoff contender when it’s bumbling through home wins against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Bills rarely make things easy, and that was particularly true Sunday at New Era Field in a 28-21 win. Right down to the curious decision to waste a timeout before punting with the lead in the fourth quarter, there was plenty not to like. The defense, which lost cornerback Ronald Darby to a concussion, looked lost at times. The Bills gave up three scoring drives of at least 65 yards.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor completed just 12 passes, and was sacked five times. It’s abundantly clear at this point the Bills are in full “game manager” mode with Taylor.
As mentioned above, coach Rex Ryan wasted a second-half timeout in one of the most confusing ways possible.
In the end, it didn’t matter. The Bills finished the job against an inferior opponent. Sammy Watkins returned and gave the offense a shot in the arm with a 62-yard reception. Running back LeSean McCoy carried the offense, rushing for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
And when it absolutely had to, the defense got the stops it needed in the fourth quarter.
At 6-5, the Bills still have a playoff pulse. Next week’s game at Oakland will be the biggest of the season. Buffalo has made it to December with a fighting chance at the playoffs. That’s not much to celebrate, but hey, it’s something.