Bills need to close out games during final stretch of regular season

Sports

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott works the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

ORCHARD PARK, M.Y. (WIVB) – Usually it’s the third quarter that’s been the quarter the Bills have struggled the most in this season but against the Chargers it was the fourth quarter.

With a 24-14 lead, the Bills started the fourth quarter with one of three straight turnovers. Devin Singletary fumbled, then their next drive Josh Allen fumbled and the following drive he threw an interception.

“That doesn’t sit well with me and the great part about it honestly is it doesn’t sit well with our team, the players and the coaches. It’s one thing for me to get upset about it but at the end of the day it’s about clear expectations and our players have a great understanding for what we want and honestly what wins in this league and you can’t do that to yourself,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said after the game.

“We’re 8-3, that’s what our goal was heading into this game, whatever it takes and we got it done. Our defense played outstanding, obviously on the offensive side of the football we can do a lot more to help us out. 27 point in three consecutive turnovers in that fourth quarter you know we left a lot out there, we know that,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said.

“We gotta be better and I have to be better taking care of the football is simply what it comes down to but again our defense had our back today and our return game was fantastic with Dre [Andre Roberts].”

The Bills held on to win the game 27-17 but once again they saw a big lead dwindle. They started the third quarter with an Allen touchdown run on their opening drive of the second half to take a 24-6 lead. But the Chargers scored 11 straight points and that’s something the Bills have struggled with this season, putting teams away and closing out games.

“We definitely can clean some things up in the fourth quarter there. It comes back to the ball, the ball keeps people in games and we didn’t do a good enough job with the ball and we had some penalties there,” McDermott explained.

“I do think there were a lot of good things. It’s hard to win in this league man and you know it so it’s good to be 8-3.”

Letting teams get back in the game is something we’ve seen a few times this season, look no further than two weeks ago before the bye week in Arizona. The Bills took a 23-9 lead at the start of the third quarter but allowed the Cardinals to score 17 straight points and eventually went on to win the game.

So it’s something they need to work on during this final stretch of the regular season especially if they want to make a deep playoff run.

“The want to is definitely there, I think we’re learning and growing through some of these. We gotta do a better job of taking care of the football and then the penalties hurt us that combined on the offensive side and defensively I thought we did some good things on the last drive and then giving up the 4th and long and the two big passes back-to-back. So again, I think it’s an opportunity for us to learn,” McDermott explained.

But Allen thinks this is something they can fix.

“It’s not a concern, we’re an offense able to adapt and find different ways to win and our defense they helped us out a lot tonight forcing a couple turnovers late. It takes a team to win football games and yeah we can be better especially in the fourth quarter of this game but I don’t want to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I think we’ve been pretty good in that area so we’re sitting at 8-3. I think we have a lot of work to do but 8-3 is pretty good,” Allen said.

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