OAKLAND, Calif. – Tyrod Taylor offered up a whole bunch of “we,” but not any “me” when assessing what went wrong with the Buffalo Bills’ offense Sunday.
“We just didn’t go out there and make the plays we were supposed to,” Taylor said after a 38-24 loss to the Raiders in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
So, Tyrod, is there anything you can point to that led to the offense sputtering, particularly in the second half?
“Nope,” Taylor replied.
Taylor used four words or less to answer four questions in his postgame press conference. Perhaps that’s fitting. If he didn’t have any answers on the field, why should he be expected to after the game?
Taylor finished 18 of 35 for 191 yards and an interception in the loss – his third straight game in which he threw for less than 200 yards.
After the Bills went ahead 24-9 in the third quarter, the Raiders responded with a touchdown to cut the Buffalo lead to 24-16. From there, the Bills’ offense completely fell to pieces, going three and out three straight times and having the next possession end when Taylor was intercepted by Raiders safety Nate Allen.
“A lack of execution,” is how the Bills’ quarterback explained why the offense stalled so badly.
Coach Rex Ryan has been Taylor’s biggest cheerleader this season, but seemed to pump the brakes on that somewhat after Sunday’s loss.
“Look, let’s just let this play out,” Ryan said when asked about the mounting evidence that Taylor isn’t able to rally his team when he most needs to. “We feel pretty comfortable with Tyrod. There’s a lot of factors that go into everything.
“Obviously their quarterback is – I don’t know how many fourth-quarter things he’s brought back this year, but it’s a whole bunch of them, and another one today. But with that being said, there’s other factors that go into it.”
Pressed on what those might be, Ryan said, “I’m not going to go into a list of them. You guys can figure it out.”
It’s true the Bills have been ravaged by injury at wide receiver. Robert Woods, Percy Harvin and Walt Powell were all out Sunday. No. 1 receiver Sammy Watkins is playing on an injured foot that has him at less than 100 percent.
With Watkins playing in just his second game since returning from a foot injury, there were signs he and Taylor still aren’t on the same page. That was true in the second quarter, when the pair failed to connect on a third-down play.
“I just couldn’t hear,” Watkins said. “I’ve got to do a better job with getting the play. We were just in the heat of the moment. That’s something that we’ve got to clean up.”
With only four games left, Watkins and Taylor are running out of time to do that.
“We knew this game was a must win, and moving forward is going to be,” Taylor said. “We just made it even tougher on ourselves, but we have the type of guys in our locker room who can bounce back.”
With 4:25 left in the fourth quarter and the Bills trying to mount a comeback, Taylor overthrew Watkins down the right sideline on what would have been a touchdown that could have made it a one-possession game.
When those opportunities arise, the Bills need Taylor to cash them in.