With just under 11 minutes left to play, Brandon Tate broke off a 40-yard punt return to get the Bills deep into Bengals territory, and a penalty gave them a drive start on the 12-yard line.
The Bills couldn't capitalize. Their drive went incomplete pass, run 4 yards backward, checkdown on third-and-long, field goal. Steven Hauschka hit from 28 yards, but the Bills still trailed by one.
That drive showcased the Bills' lack of offensive firepower and was emblematic of their disappointing day. The Bengals added a field goal later and Tyrod Taylor threw an interception on the Bills' following drive, dropping them to 3-2 at the bye week.
For a team hoping to prove it's not the Same Old BillsTM, the result felt awfully familiar. Just when you thought there was a team the Bills should beat – that a contender would beat – they came up short.
Tyrod Taylor was 20 for 37 for 166 yards. He was mostly without his top two receiving targets, but the Bengals were without their top two cornerbacks for the second half. The Bills' running game totaled only 82 yards on the ground after a promising first quarter, finishing right at their average of 3.4 yards per carry. The defense created three turnovers.
Not good: Through five games, LeSean McCoy is averaging 3.2 yards per carry – on pace for the worst mark of his career by nearly a full yard.