“3rd & 1 with 8 minutes and 49 seconds left” is a phrase that is going to pester Bills fans for weeks to come. It was a catch. You know it, I know it, Stevie knows it, but apparently the referees need to be educated upon what defines a catch. Now that the elephant has been ushered out of the room, officiating cannot be held fully responsible for the loss to Cincinnati.
The Bills had plenty of other discord that induced defeat at the hands of a weaker, yet focused Cincinnati Bengals team. Cincinnati gashed the Bills run defense for 171 yards, while averaging 5.3 yards per rush. In addition to having a weak run defense, Buffalo’s offense vanished as they managed to score 3 points in the second half.
Feel free to create any convenient excuse for the Bills loss to the Bengals on Sunday. Point the finger at the officiating for making unprofessional calls, the run defense for being porous, the offense for producing three points in the second half, or the offensive line for getting abused. Just remember that before you point that finger that it was only one loss. Yes, it was one loss to an average Cincinnati team but in order to become a contender, the Bills will need to endure a growing pain or two.
The most pressing issue for the Buffalo Bills right now is to realize their room for improvement and not dwell on the loss. Yes, it is important to treat the thought of losing with malice, but in order to focus on the current task at hand, the Bills must have a short memory. Buffalo cannot dwell on their poor performance from Sunday, because, regardless of their 1-3 record, the Philadelphia Eagles are amongst the NFL’s most talented teams.
Despite being the underdog this upcoming Sunday when Buffalo hosts Philadelphia, it is a notion that will fuel the Bills fire for Sunday. I am looking forward to witnessing how the Bills come out Sunday after showing up in Cincinnati and playing flat. This will be a critical week of practice for Buffalo as they aim to hand the “dream team” its fourth loss in just five games. In preparation for the Week 5 matchup, Coach Gailey stated, “The respect that we have throughout the league, I believe did go down. When you lose, that happens. So you have got to go earn it back.” This statement alone verifies that the Bills will be putting overtime hours this week and paying extra attention to detail.
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