Share this article

print logo

8 Laces: What people are talking about after the Bills' 17th straight playoff elimination

The Bills lost to the Miami Dolphins Saturday at New Era Field, 34-31 in overtime, to seal their 17th consecutive playoff-less season.

Here's what your friends and co-workers will be talking about.

Rex's job security

All signs point to this week being Rex Ryan's final game coaching the Buffalo Bills. Saturday morning marked the third consecutive week in which a national report dropped just before kickoff that had Ryan on the way out. Sources have indicted the same to News reporters, with a potential power struggle between the coach and general manager at the heart of the issue.

The headline on Vic Carucci's game analysis following the Miami loss read: Low five: Rex adds to reasons he should soon become Bills' ex-coach. Bucky Gleason wrote earlier that the Bills should stop dragging their feet and make Ryan's firing official. Saturday's loss, he wrote, exemplified his biggest shortcomings, neatly wrapped in a box with a Christmas bow.

The Bills rank seventh in the NFL in scoring. Offense hasn't been the problem. Ryan's defense failed fantastically in clinching a second playoff elimination since his introductory press conference promised the postseason, and it could lead to his dismissal.

Jay Ajayi doing Jay Ajayi things

Or maybe that should read, "Bills run defense doing Bills run defense things." Ajayi ran for 206 yards Saturday, including a 57-yard gain in overtime that set up the winning field goal. He gained 214 against the Bills in their first meeting. Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell gained 236 yards in Buffalo.

“The guy really rushed for 200 yards again? Like, come on," safety Corey Graham said. "That is what, the third guy to get 200 yards rushing? I’ve never been a part of anything like that. I’ve never seen anything like that. I don’t get it."

From the franchise inception in 1960 through the end of last season, the Bills had allowed only four 200-yard individual rushing performances. They now have seven.

The draft

Well, the Bills are eliminated from the playoffs, but they are still alive for a top-10 pick.

Depending on next week's results, they could move as high as ninth or drop to the high teens.

The punt

The Bills' gained a franchise-record 589 yards Saturday, but Ryan didn't trust them to pick up two more on a key fourth and 2 in overtime. He punted the ball away, and the Dolphins came down and won the game.

It was a maddening decision, reminiscent of Doug Marrone. Yet Ryan claimed every coach in America would've done the same thing.

Tyrod's first 300-yard game

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor went over 300 yards passing for the first time in his career Saturday. He also matched a career-best with three touchdown passes.

The game marked the first time the Bills had a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game since Nov. 21, 2010.

Taylor's day started poorly, getting into a car accident on the way into the stadium, and it ended pretty poorly with the loss ... but that middle part was pretty good. It was too bad his defense let him down.

The kicker

Oh, add the kicker to the list of people who let Taylor and the offense down. Dan Carpenter hit just one of his three field-goal attempts Saturday, missing from 46 yards in the first quarter and 45 yards in overtime. Miami would've gotten a chance to score if Carpenter had hit in overtime, but the miss was painful.

Carpenter has converted just 75 percent of field goals and 88.6 percent of extra points this season.

"The Bills’ kicker likely kicked his way right out of Buffalo," Jay Skurski wrote in the Bills Report Card, adding that Carpenter left without speaking to reporters.

Charles Clay

The Bills' tight end seemed invisible to Taylor for much of this season. But he's having a strong finish, logging four touchdowns in the last three games.

Makes you think.

The NFL leader in yards per reception

This one comes to you from Jay Skurski: Do you know who leads the NFL in yards per reception?

That's right, it's Patriots receiver, former Bill and 8 Laces favorite Chris Hogan. He has 34 receptions for 653 yards, good for a league-leading 19.2 yards per reception.

Last word: You, when you realize the Bills got every tiebreaker they needed this week, except their defense can't defend and their kicker can't kick.

Happy holidays.

There are no comments - be the first to comment