Rout by Bengals exposed the Bills team that could regress

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK QB Josh Allen sat scowlingly at his desk at the Bills training center on Monday, barely realizing how much his team had achieved and overcome, but never got close to the Super Bowl.

More anxiety for Allen and the Bills – the day after they were choked out 27-10 by the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional playoff round, it’s the prospect of them taking a step back.

“Bias due to the recent time in this last game, I know everyone will go crazy, but we did a lot of good things this year,” Allen said.

However, after setting a franchise record with 13 wins, winning a third consecutive AFC East title and finishing half a game behind top seed Kansas City, Allen still ended the season feeling, as he put it, after setting a franchise record with 13 wins. , “tired of my stomach”.

“It (stinks) feeling that you are there and not able to do it,” he added. “It’s been the last three years with very similar feelings. We have to keep moving forward and find a way to overcome this hump.”

It could very well be humps in the plural, now for Buffalo.

The Bills made it to the AFC Championship game after the 2020 season with a loss to Kansas City. Last year they fell again en route to the Chiefs, this time in the divisional round. Now Buffalo finds themselves behind Joe Burrow and the Bengals in the AFC pecking order.

Unlike a year ago, when Allen went toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo squandered a three-point lead in the closing seconds of a spectacular 42-36 overtime loss, the Bills allowed the Bengals to take a 14-0 lead. . first quarter and answered meekly.

Bengals exposed Lots of Buffalo Weaknesses. Among them: an injury-depleted defense front without von Miller, a young and beaten side player, and an offense overly dependent on Allen and Stephon Diggs.

“I have a lot of faith in who you are in the last game of the season in terms of what you saw on the pitch. And this is what you have to decide. And so obviously we weren’t good enough yesterday,” coach Sean McDermott said, acknowledging that the gap between the Bills and the AFC elite had narrowed in a conference filled with quarterback talent.

“That’s why we have to keep growing and we have to answer the question of whether we can compete at this level,” McDermott said. “Can we handle these quarterbacks? And who should help us in this?

The Bills will need to retool as they have little room for a salary cap and a roster that includes 21 players eligible to become unrestricted free agents. This group includes middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, starting guard Jordan Poyer and running guard Devin Singleteri.

Singletary was so stunned by Buffalo’s defeat that he said he was not thinking about his future.

“Honestly, I didn’t think the season would end, so I thought I still had time to think about it,” the fourth-year player said.


Forward Roger Suffold acknowledged that the Billies were emotionally drained after a season in which their schedule was disrupted twice by winter storms and their game in Cincinnati on January 2 was canceled when Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field. .

“We couldn’t take a breath after the Damara situation and it’s really hard on a lot of people,” Suffold said, noting that the team finally figured it out on Sunday. “It was almost like being in quicksand: the harder you fought, the deeper you went.”

Hamlin was healthy enough attend the game and visit the locker room on Sunday.


Running back Duke Johnson took it upon himself to chase down a frustrated Diggs, who ran out of the locker room just after the loss and before McDermott could address the team. Johnson convinced Diggs to return.

“I think Diggs needs more trust than me because Diggs didn’t have to listen to me,” Johnson said.

“He’s upset, like the rest of us,” McDermott said. “He was today. We talked to him, and I will end here.

Diggs did not become available to the media. However, he tweeted: “Want me to be okay with our level of play when it’s not up to standard? Nope.”


Allen said he would not need surgery after spraining his throwing elbow during a 20-17 loss to the New York Jets on November 6. Initially, the injury changed his throwing movement. Allen said he felt completely recovered a few weeks ago.

Defenseman Jordan Poyer said he would need surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff that caused him to miss two games in December. Not risking further injury, Phillips played in Buffalo’s last three games.


Safety Micah Hyde said he would have been allowed to play this weekend if the Bills had moved forward. Hyde returned to training two weeks ago after missing his third week while undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc.

Hyde’s desire to return was prompted by the possibility of playing Poyer in a minor role in at least one more game. Hyde and Poyer bonded after signing with Buffalo on the same day as a free agent in 2017.


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