Prepare yourself, Buffalo Bills fans.
The worst quotes of the season are coming up. Over the coming days, you will hear coach Rex Ryan offer up some sort of take about how his team will “keep fighting” until its postseason hopes are officially dead.
Don’t listen to it. Those hopes died Sunday in Oakland, where the Bills blew a 15-point second-half lead and ended up getting routed by the Raiders, 38-24. They are mathematically alive, but we’ve heard that before.
Here is a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after the game.
• LeSean McCoy: It’s an absolute treat to watch McCoy run. He averaged more than 7 yards a carry Sunday, piling up 130 yards on just 17 attempts. McCoy is absolutely one of the best running backs in the league, and must feel like he’s all alone at times in trying to carry the Bills’ offense.
• Marcell Dareus: The defensive tackle made four run “stops” and had a 89.7 run defense grade according to the analytics website Pro Football Focus. Despite being questionable for the game because of an abdominal injury, Dareus played 59 of 71 defensive snaps.
• Jerome Felton: The fullback was a beast, blowing up Raiders defenders to open holes for McCoy and Mike Gillislee in the running game. Felton earned PFF’s highest grade for an offensive player, at 88.3.
• Tyrod Taylor: At some point, Taylor needs to be held accountable by someone inside the organization for the passing game’s failures. He certainly doesn’t do it himself, bristling at even the slightest hint of a question he perceives to be as negative. It’s true that not all of the failings of the passing game can be hung on Taylor, but the numbers are the numbers. In the final three quarters of the game, he went 10 of 26 for 89 yards. That completely wipes out any good that came from his first quarter, when he was 8 of 9 for 102 yards. Pretty much every NFL game is close. Quarterbacks are paid to win those games. The evidence continues to mount that Taylor doesn’t have it in him to do so.
• Colton Schmidt: The Bills’ punter has dropped to 25th in the NFL in net average. He had plenty of chances to flip the field position Sunday, but couldn’t come through on an afternoon that weather wasn’t a factor. Schmidt has regressed this season.
• Kevon Seymour: The rookie cornerback got off to a good start Sunday, breaking up the first pass thrown his way. But Seymour’s performance slipped from there. He got lucky when Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree dropped a touchdown in the first half, but that luck ran out in the second half when Seymour was in coverage on a pair of Oakland scores – one by Crabtree and one by Amari Cooper.