Sean McDermott on Brian Daboll’s performance: “We didn’t take advantage of opportunities tonight”

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Bills offensive Brian Daboll could leave the team to become a head coach, eventually. He also could leave the team for other reasons.

After Monday night’s 14-10 loss to the Patriots, coach Sean McDermott was asked a very simple and direct question about Daboll: “Is he doing a good enough job to set this offense up for success?”

McDermott didn’t say, “Yes.” And, when asked a question like that, any answer other than “yes” is “no.”

“Well, I didn’t think honestly we took advantage of opportunities tonight,” McDermott said. “I really didn’t. I mean, the ball’s at the 40 yard line. You know? We’re one for four in the red zone. So we’ve got to figure that part of it out.

Part of the problem, frankly, is that the Bills waited too long to trust Josh Allen to throw the ball in the wind. In the first half, Buffalo dialed up only 10 passes. In the second half, they threw it twice as many times. The sense of urgency that fueled the final two drives, both of which petered out in the red zone, should have shown up earlier — because it was obvious Allen could deliver consistently and effectively.

Indeed, the success that they had throwing the ball later in the game shows that they should have been throwing it earlier. And that’s where the discussions behind the curtain become highly relevant. What was the game plan before the wind became an issue? Who decided to de-emphasize the pass early? Who decided to go heaving with passing the ball later? To the extent there was push an pull between McDermott and Daboll, who pushed and who pulled?

Frankly, it doesn’t matter. Unless the offense improves down the stretch, Daboll could end up being pushed out the door, based on the response McDermott provided after the fourth loss in seven games.

77 responses to “Sean McDermott on Brian Daboll’s performance: “We didn’t take advantage of opportunities tonight”

  1. The offense wasn’t particularly good but the real reason they lost is the defense giving up 225 rushing yards even though they knew the other team would run every single time. That is on the head coach and DC being outperformed and unable to make adjustments.

  2. This is why I always get nervous about the thought of hiring the trendy flavor of the year coordinator as a Head Coach

  3. I only hope I never have to see another 1st & 2nd down Singletary up the middle for 1/2 a yard. SMH

  4. Sean McDermott needs to get fired once the season ends. This team is soft because of McDermott & he makes excuses and blames everyone but himself. If the continue to keep him, they’ll remain relevant but he’ll never put the Bills over the top to compete for a Super Bowl.

  5. McDermott is going to lose his team by criticizing his players and OC, but not taking any responsibility himself. Surprised he doesn’t have more composure.

  6. Contrary opinion, a QB that has regularly turned it over this season under the best conditions had zero turnovers.

    The Bills had chances to win but couldn’t effectively run the ball and were dominated on both sides of the ball. Their kicker missed a field goal from extra point distance. Diggs couldn’t catch a throw he makes on any other night. A back shoulder throw that would have given the Bills the lead was blown out of reach and bounds.

    The Bills didn’t lose because they didn’t throw, they lost because they couldn’t run nor stop the run.

    Sometimes you need to give the other team credit.

  7. The OC on the other sideline didn’t have a great night either. Poor punts, drive extending penalties and an absurd ‘muffed’ punt gave the Bills ample opportunity to grab hold of this game and keep it. Let’s be real, the Patriots weren’t going to be able to come back if they got behind with the game plan they used.

  8. Throwing the ball and actually watching it blowing around on TV the odds were that the Pats were going to intercept a ball (or several), the real issues not enough salary cap to have a decent run game and the biggest issue is the failure of the D-coordinator (and the defensive minded head coach) to the let Pats run right over the top of them even with stacking 10 or 11 guys in the he box.

  9. The story of that game is that the Pats flat out said to the Bills: ‘We are going to run the ball EVERY TIME and you’re not going to be able to stop us.’ And they did. The Pats completely emasculated the Bills in that game.

  10. It’s easy to say you had “opportunities,” but the game is competitive and the defense affects whether or not an offense can cash in on those opportunities. New England’s defense was very good last night. Josh Allen didn’t look very comfortable. Dropped passes and missed throws aren’t the coaches’ fault.

  11. After the first month of the season it looked as if the Bills would be contenders. Now we see they are only pretenders. You can’t win in the playoffs if you can’t stop the run. You also aren’t going to win many games when your offense looks like it’s stuck in the mud. Let’s face it, the Bills were trounced by the Jags. Allen has been terrible. The defense has been terrible. There’s always next year Bills fans.

  12. He should have said; we are on to Tampa.

    Where, of course the Patriot’s Alumni (Gronk & Brady) will make sure he has to come up with a new set of excuses, for his next loss.

    Another 1-year dynasty bites the dust.

    Adios

  13. Last night featured a top opponent in bad weather. But a few weeks back when they were held without a TD in the loss to the Jags? THAT’S the game that should really have caused major concern but they blew it off as just a bad week like Super Bowl contenders routinely lose to 1-6 teams all the time.

  14. The Bills spent the offseason building to beat KC – and they did. But now they’re not built to beat more physical teams like the Pats.

    I’m trying not to read TOO much into the game. The situation played to the Pats strengths, and could be a different story in game 2. But BB is still head & shoulders above everyone. I think McD is a good coach, but BB outcoaches everyone.

    At least he doesn’t have the best QB anymore. Allen was incredible last night. Once again this season, he carried the team as much as he could.

  15. The Colts and the Pats just gashed the Bills D for 500 yards on the ground. I don’t think it’s the OC you should be concerned about.

  16. Mike, I think it should be noted that it was not that they were not TRYING to throw the football. They were trying to be judicious. He had Diggs open twice, and hit him ONCE (and Diggs looked over the wrong shoulder) and the pass was off the next time due to wind.

    So, I don’t think you have assessed what they were thinking or doing accurately or fairly.

    CATCH the ball Diggs. Dang it.

  17. Is it any surprise that Buffalo can’t run the ball or stop the run? No, not at all. This has been going on for two years now. The talent up front on both sides of the ball is lacking and to make matters worse, Feliciano has missed several games this year.

  18. BB took this guy out behind the woodshed and beat him like a drum…. He’s embarrassed…we get it.

  19. daboll should be fired because he was burning downs on the final drive simply running into the pile on 1st down. if they were more creative on the final series you wouldnt have been facing 2 and 9. then call a timeout and dial up another unsuccessful play leading to 3 and 9 (eventually 3rd and 14). he should be looking for quick hitters for 4-5 yards there, maybe a screen pass.
    also knox, if youre going to drop everything thrown to you last night the least you could do was not false start on 3rd and 9

  20. All he did was harp on the refs all night long. Ya he is looking for a call to change the game for him down the line but the refs should not have to take that abuse. time they start flagging these guys for 15 yards to shut them up.
    Having a valid gripe is one thing but constant bickering is total bs.

  21. Wow what coach would run 29 times straight and only throw three times and win a game. Bellycheck. The guy is the best ever. The Bills got the idea of the Pats offense in the first quarter and couldnt adjust to stop it.

  22. From the viewpoint of entertainment,… that was the ugliest game in primetime this year. The weather changed the game completely,… I get it. Still,… it was hard to watch. I’m not a fan of either team. Just a football fan.

  23. There really isn’t much to take away from this game. The wind made the game a circus. Half of the field was basically unplayable. But there is no doubt this Patriots team is solid, deep, and strong on both sides of the football. Unclear if the Bills are. If the Patriots can keep running the ball and then having Jones hit on screens, play actions, and shorter yardages, they are going to be a very tough out.

  24. “All he did was harp on the refs all night long.”

    I noticed that, too, and felt it was why they refs gave him the bs roughing call on the out of bounds push. McDermott was screaming at the refs seemingly the whole game. Hoodie had his moments with the refs, but not the entire time.

  25. Here’s the reason McDermott is to blame, after his first touchdown he was down 8 to 6, and chose to kick the extra point, well and mathematician can tell you that being down by 1 or 2 points is the start same deficit, you need a field goal to take the lead, had he went for and possibly tied the game, he wouldn’t have been chasing the extra point the rest of the game and could at tied it with a field goal at the end instead of going for 4th and long, i couldn’t believe the extra point kick when he made it and could not believe how much of a pain that 1 point was the rest of the game, I cannot think of one reason to kick for a 1 point deficit when 2 ties and being down by 2 is the same as down by 1, maybe head coach needs a general math class

  26. The Bills DC should have went to a 5 man front taking a DB off the field. I said it in the 1st qtr and it was finally said by the announcers at the top of the 4th.

    They needed to force Jones to pass. But they kept that extra DB in only to get mowed down by a pulling guard,FB or TE. Made absolutely no sense at all.

    BUF lbs were also terrible. They were bullied from the opening whistle.

  27. I always thought McDermott was too self-involved to truly be a great HC. But this season, I was juuuuust about to change my mind.

    Then his Bills started losing. And now this. He’s handling it so poorly.

    If keeps this up, he’ll be back among the ranks of coordinators soon enough.

    And people will look back on the Monday of week 13 of 2021 and say “that’s when it all began to crumble.”

  28. Josh Allen, it turns out is the poor man’s Justin Herbert. He doesn’t anticipate routes getting open. He doesn’t read defenses well, and he only throws to guys when he sees them open.. a guy like that who over relies on his arm strength and his size and ability to avoid the sack, is often playing from behind in the play. What great big throw has he made at this point in his career? Zero? Justin Herbert has fifty throws that he has mad with incredible arm strength, accuracy and anticipation. Sorry Buffalo, Allen is not that special, and you are stuck with him. Sure he can throw the ball into the wind with that big arm, but he’s just going to run around confused against sophisticated defenses and try to fit the ball in small windows. Never a recipe for success. Buffalo, you thought you were going to the Super Bowl, but once again you are losing the division to the Patriots

  29. I don’t get the fans saying this was a boring game. It was two top AFC teams in a one score game the whole game, with 3 guys trying to strip the ball every run and almost every throw up for grabs in 30+ knot winds. Kickers having to play the wind on field goals, kickoffs and punts. And returners having to deal with the wind. The Bills chip shot FG miss loomed large as they got to the end needing a TD to win. As a fan, its was edge of your seat stuff.

    A seesaw battle of constant scores and who gets the ball last isn’t that great a game to me, either.

  30. This is Bill’s greatest power. Not that he wins, but that he can win in ridiculous, historic ways that stick to your franchise like barnacles for generations. Right Jets, Steelers, Ravens, Jets, Falcons, Bills, Rams, Seahawks, Titans, Jets, Chiefs, and also Jets?

  31. When you put the entire defense in the box and the other team STILL runs the ball – not even an audible – and gains over 200 yards rushing, you know you got run over.

  32. The Bills will implode after losing to the Bucs with Fournette running down their throats. The blueprint is out on them now, they can’t handle physical teams.

  33. I must have watched a different game than many of you. When you hold a team to 240 yds total offense and 14 points – the game I watched was won/lost SOLELY because the Bills missed a short field goal and failed to score in the Red Zone on multiple downs. Buffalo beats itself, period. BB and other NE coaches elation at the end of that game supports THAT version – lucky to get out of Buffalo with that win. The BB decision to go for 2 was clearly smart. But the Bills play calling and ineptitude was the difference in that and 3 other games lost this year. Some Bills and asst coaches (just some) just don’t demonstrate that mindset to win, or the tenacity (esp. on the O-line) to win. And THAT’s the difference.

  34. Sean just throwing everyone under the bus today. He is the HC, all of this stuff is ultimately HIS responsibility. Own it, Sean. Lead your team forward. Stop acting like a 3 year old that just tripped on the playground and came up with a mouth full of sand and swinging at everyone that comes near.

  35. The Bills have to be the most disappointing team this year, at least in the AFC, on both sides of the ball. After thinking the loss to Pittsburgh in the opener was a fluke, I now realize it was a harbinger of things to come.

  36. Fun fact for all the chest pounding Patriots fans , the Pats and in fact the whole AFC east has ever beaten a NFC east team in a Super Bowl . 😀 … I think.

  37. Belichick and a few other head coaches know that the success of any team starts with a dominant offensive and defensive line…..and New England has that.

    Because of the wind, The game last night came down to those offensive and defensive lines, and New England showed that they have the better ones….by far.

  38. Some fans don’t get it. The weather conditions were awful. With that said, McDermott can’t be making excuses and blaming other coaches. Makes him sound petty. Take responsibility and move on. If he can’t, then the owner of the Bills needs to fire him at the end of the season. It’s there only chance to continue the progress this team has made over the last 4-5 years.

  39. The great thing about last nights game: over in less than three hours. Keep the clock running — its more entertaining.

  40. chastain00 says:
    December 7, 2021 at 12:47 pm
    Fun fact for all the chest pounding Patriots fans , the Pats and in fact the whole AFC east has ever beaten a NFC east team in a Super Bowl . 😀 … I think.———— The Patriots beat the Eagles

  41. The Bills have one of the best weapons in the NFL in Josh Allen. The guy could probably zip the ball through a hurricane. They didn’t use his legs in the run game ,either. Utilize those two things more and the outcome last night may have been different.

  42. It was a slugfest that came down to the wire both clubs came to play with good game plans in horrible conditions the Pat’s just made more plays. Hats off to buffalo they are a good team.

  43. Did I watch a different game? What I saw was Josh Allen underperform all night. He played like he could just blame the wind for missing open receivers and throwing terrible passes.

  44. PartyonWayne says:
    December 7, 2021 at 1:22 pm
    Did I watch a different game? What I saw was Josh Allen underperform all night. He played like he could just blame the wind for missing open receivers and throwing terrible passes.

    ———

    Here’s the game I watched:

    The Pat’s plan to run the ball kept Allen off the field; their ability to hold onto the ball for long stretches, jump out to a lead, and stop Buffalo’s run game forced Buffalo to rely on Allen’s arm in adverse weather conditions. Allen’s “accurate” (in scare quotes) when his receivers have ample separation on a windless day. But on a windy day with tight coverage? Fuhgeddaboudit.

    I don’t know if that’s the game you watched, but Allen’s “underperformance” was a product of the things other fans here are pointing out that are making you think you watched a different game than they did.

  45. If the kicker makes the FG in the 4th quarter, the scores is 14-13. Then they kick the 2nd FG to win the game. Why did he miss? The 30 mph cross wind. The same reason why they struggled throwing the ball and struggled in the red zone, and the same reason why BB three it 3 times. Did anyone else watch this game?

  46. Last night & the weather had absolutely NOTHING to do with the outcome of this game. The defensive guru Billy B will always take away what your offense does best. Buffalo lost this game in the off season when they failed to get a legit bell cow RB ( which they could have easily done in round 1 ). Add in New England improved their roster significantly via the draft , free agency, and returning Covid opt outs and now you know why the Pats are in First place in the AFC. Hopefully for Bills fan all over, their GM gets a clue and surrounds Allen with a bell cow RB BEFORE the window closes and he has to pony up big bucks at the QB position.

  47. diabolicalbill..
    Well “Bill” technically.. .the Bills just were not able to stop the run.. ENOUGH.
    The Pats ran an will IN BETWEEN THE 20s and consumed clock doing it.

    If they were unable to stop them AT ALL, the Patriots would have had more than one lucky break-away run for a TD and two field goals, correct?

    Fact is that the Pats could not punch it in when they really needed to. They were stuffed every time inside the 20.

    The Bills were one dropped Diggs pass away from winning this one.

  48. Folks, let’s really make this simple and stop analyzing the OC and all the ways you THINK Josh Allen failed. Ridiculous and wrong.

    The Bills lost because their defense is bad against the run. Period. End of Sentence. And this is not new info. To BB or anyone else.

  49. As a Dolphin fan, I have to admit that New England put together a masterpiece last night. And it’s yet more evidence that no matter how much emphasis the NFL puts on the passing game, any team with a dominant O-Line and D-Line will always have a chance to win.

  50. That missed field goal didn’t help either….they were in field goal range late in the game which could have gave them the win.

  51. Patriots beat the Eagles
    1972 Dolphins beat the Redskins

    I was concerned abt these two teams having to play twice in 3 weeks but with the wind dictating the game last night, the next game won’t be anything like that one

  52. McDermott, you got outcoached. Your team seems to now be self destructing from the safeties to the punt returner you threw under the bus to the OC getting tossed out in the cold to you being sour cause you got outcoached. You’ve got bigger issues then just losing to the pats

  53. jg2040 says:
    December 7, 2021 at 1:52 pm
    If the kicker makes the FG in the 4th quarter, the scores is 14-13. Then they kick the 2nd FG to win the game. Why did he miss? The 30 mph cross wind. The same reason why they struggled throwing the ball and struggled in the red zone, and the same reason why BB three it 3 times. Did anyone else watch this game?
    —-

    Yes, and that’s why smart Bills fans want a dome stadium downtown.

  54. The Bills could look at the bright side, they have been winning one game, losing one game for the past eight games. With next weeks game against Tampa Bay, they will be losing two games in a row. See they will finally have consistency.

  55. McDermott needs to learn that some things are best left unsaid in public. Rip the guys in private, but conduct yourself better in public.

  56. Bad D line bad O line any way you cut it your not gonna have a winning season period! we made little change in the off season and now we are paying for it!

  57. tingelhoff53 says:
    December 7, 2021 at 2:07 pm
    diabolicalbill..
    Well “Bill” technically.. .the Bills just were not able to stop the run.. ENOUGH.
    The Pats ran an will IN BETWEEN THE 20s and consumed clock doing it.

    If they were unable to stop them AT ALL, the Patriots would have had more than one lucky break-away run for a TD and two field goals, correct?

    Fact is that the Pats could not punch it in when they really needed to. They were stuffed every time inside the 20.

    The Bills were one dropped Diggs pass away from winning this one.

    ———
    They were also one N’Keal Harry muffed punt away from getting shut out

  58. McDermott should look in the mirror. Every Bills fan knows the wind in that stadium. Yet, this guy wins the coin flip and chooses to go against the wind in the 4th qtr. How can this guy not know the nuances of this stadium by now? He’s made the same blunder several times. Hell, Bill B. knows the stadium better than the Bills coach! McDermott made some other bonehead decisions also. Sure, Daboll has been suspect the last few games, but so has McDermott.

  59. natasmai says:
    December 7, 2021 at 1:55 pm
    Last night & the weather had absolutely NOTHING to do with the outcome of this game. The defensive guru Billy B will always take away what your offense does best.

    ———-
    The wind allowed Bellichek to load the box and play press man on the outside, because he knew that with the wind conditions, the further you threw the ball down the field, the more chance it would be inaccurate because the wind would take it. He was only able to play like that because of the wind. If there was very little wind and they played that defense, Diggs, Knox and Beasley would have torched them.

  60. jg2040 says:
    December 7, 2021 at 5:31 pm
    natasmai says:
    December 7, 2021 at 1:55 pm
    Last night & the weather had absolutely NOTHING to do with the outcome of this game. The defensive guru Billy B will always take away what your offense does best.

    ———-
    The wind allowed Bellichek to load the box and play press man on the outside, because he knew that with the wind conditions, the further you threw the ball down the field, the more chance it would be inaccurate because the wind would take it. He was only able to play like that because of the wind. If there was very little wind and they played that defense, Diggs, Knox and Beasley would have torched them.

    0 2 Rate This

    ——————-

    Laughable.

    NE beat up Buffalo last year during the rebuild with lame duck Newton.

    Jon Jones has demolished Beasley in every match up
    and turoring the impressive Myles Bryant and Adrian Phillips demolished Dawson Knox as he doee every TE every week.

  61. mikejssr says:
    December 7, 2021 at 12:41 pm
    I must have watched a different game than many of you. When you hold a team to 240 yds total offense and 14 points – the game I watched was won/lost SOLELY because the Bills missed a short field goal and failed to score in the Red Zone on multiple downs. Buffalo beats itself, period. BB and other NE coaches elation at the end of that game supports THAT version – lucky to get out of Buffalo with that win. The BB decision to go for 2 was clearly smart. But the Bills play calling and ineptitude was the difference in that and 3 other games lost this year. Some Bills and asst coaches (just some) just don’t demonstrate that mindset to win, or the tenacity (esp. on the O-line) to win. And THAT’s the difference.

    ##########################

    Yikes. This is a horrible take. Bills fans are in denial all over the internet. McDermott sucks and is throwing his team under the bus. It’s over

  62. McDermott didn’t throw any one person under any bus. He said “we.” Him, the assistant coaches, the players, the team. Everyone. This loss isn’t on any one person.

  63. If McDermott threw me under the bus like that, I would certainly consider leaving the team. The Patriots imposed their will and McDermott was outcoached. Simple as that.

  64. Had the Bills prevailed at home in conditions that favor them, they’d be 8-4 w/ a half game lead in the division and tied for #1 seed. Now they are 1.5 games back w/ a road game at the Brady led defending champs (Brady has quite the winning record against the Bills. Over a 20 year period — in games that mattered — Brady may have lost only twice). The Bills could be looking at 7-6 and a must win in New England

  65. Doesn’t Daboll deserve most of the credit for taking a raw, erratic Josh Allen and turning him into one of the best QBs in the league?

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