This one is on Sean McDermott

The Bills head coach didn't play for the win

Paul Hamilton
November 10, 2019 - 7:21 pm
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(WGR 550) - I want to start by saying I am not one of these that thinks Sean McDermott is a bad coach. I think he’s a leader that gets men to follow him.

What I do want to say is McDermott is the reason the Bills didn’t get a chance to beat the Browns on Sunday.

All week long, I was hearing how the Bills had a huge advantage because of McDermott over Freddie Kitchens. As it turned out, McDermott lost the game with some mind-boggling decisions.

The Bills were trailing 19-16 and got the ball back with 1:44 left on the clock. Josh Allen is the top-ranked quarterback in the fourth quarter and had already led the Bills on a seven-play, 48-yard fourth quarter touchdown drive.

Allen hadn’t thrown the ball well all day until that scoring drive. As the final drive progressed, Allen had a 3rd-and-8 and found John Brown for 21 yards. They were running the no-huddle until there was 59-seconds left on the clock, and McDermott had them huddle. The ball is at the Browns' 41-yard line.

On third down, how do you not continue to run your offense and try for the win? Stephen Hauschka had already missed a 34-yard field goal at that end of the first half, and hasn’t made one over 50 yards since last season.

How can the head coach of a NFL team not know the percentages were against him big time? Good coaches play to win football games, not try not to lose them. When they finally did snap the ball on 3rd-and-4, it was obvious they were playing for the tie.

On 4th-and-4, McDermott tried the high school shenanigans that he loves to do and never works by trying to draw the other team offsides without snapping the ball. That maneuver is just an embarrassment.  

The Bills let the clock run down to 22-seconds and called timeout to trot out Hauschka. His kick was not only wide, but it was short. The head coach couldn’t figure out that it was better to try to win the game than have his kicker try a kick that is on the outside fringe of his range.

There is no guarantee that Allen makes it on 4th-and-4, but you had to realize you likely weren’t making that field goal, and you had a higher percentage of making 4h-and-4 than you did a 53-yard field goal from this kicker.

You’re playing the Browns. They hadn’t won at home all season. There’s controversy everywhere.

You have to try to win the game. You don’t play for a tie, unless you absolutely have to.

Until this happened, all I wanted to talk about was the greatest goal line stand I had ever seen. I have never seen a defense rise up and stop a team on eight consecutive goal-to-go plays. The Bills even overcame two end zone pass interference penalties during the stand. McDermott is a defensive coach and he was also part of this so again, I'm not a guy that thinks he is an overall bad coach. 

I’m not even going to get into Allen and his poor throws down field.

For me, this game starts and ends with Sean McDermott.

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