ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. [WKBW] — Not all 10-point wins are created equal. Despite the Buffalo Bills 27-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the final 15 minutes surely had Bills fans wondering, why can't this team just put away their opponents?
"I think the good teams are able to finish with wins," safety Micah Hyde said. "We did that today. So you could say we didn't finish, but obviously, we did, we got the win."
So to recap, in the 4th quarter:— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) November 29, 2020
- Devin Singletary fumbled
- Josh Allen fumbled a hand off
- Josh Allen threw an interception
- Took six penalties
- Allow another completion on a Hail Mary
- Won the game
Hyde has a point. At the end of the day, the Bills are 8-3 and sitting at the top of the AFC East. But the self-inflicted wounds down the stretch Sunday made the game against the Chargers closer than it needed to be.
"We've got to clean that up. We can't have that. Especially on the back end of the season with where we're trying to go," running back Devin Singletary said. "I'm pretty sure you know there are going to be some things to work on going forward to clean up. We can't have that on the back end. We've got to be able to make it a little easier and close these games out."
So how sloppy was the fourth quarter for the Bills? They turned the ball over three(!) times in the final quarter of the game, were penalized six times, and allowed yet another Hail Mary completion to their opponent. Yet despite their mistakes, they still came out on top -- which the players say shows the strides they've made.
"I think it's a sign of a good team when one side of the ball is not doing their job and the other side of the ball picks them up," quarterback Josh Allen said after the win. "Like I said, we won those two phases today [defense and special teams]. I wouldn't say we lost on the offensive side, but there's plenty of opportunities that we didn't take advantage of."
For Allen, it wasn't his best game, especially in the second half. It almost resembled a Josh Allen game in 2019 where he did enough to help his team win, not lead his team to victory. Along with the aforementioned turnovers, Allen threw for just 157 yards. To his credit, he did have a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown, along with 32 yards on the ground.
"We left a lot out there, we know that we have to be better, and I've got to be better taking care of the football," Allen added. "It's simply what it comes down to, but again our defense had our back today, and our return game was fantastic with Dre [Andre Roberts]."
But it wasn't all bad down the stretch. The defense stepped up in the fourth quarter with three sacks, an interception from Tre'Davious White, and a crucial fourth-down stop to end a promising drive from the Chargers.
“No matter what the offense is doing, whatever they’re doing on the other side of the ball, we’ve got to go out there and make stops," Hyde added. “We’ve just got to continue to hone in and focus a little more on defense and not give up those big plays at the end.”
So while the fourth quarter left a lot to be desired from the offense, the defense stepped up. If that side of the ball can continue making strides, the Bills will be a tough team to beat week in and week out.