Bills squander chances in Cincy loss

NFL Buffalo

CINCINNATI, OH – OCTOBER 8: Nick O’Leary #84 of the Buffalo Bills is unable to make the catch on a ball that was thrown short during the second quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Rain dampened not only the field at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, but also fan’s belief in the Bills 2017 season after a 20-16 loss to the Bengals on Sunday.

The remnants of Hurricane Nate blanketed the Queen City for the entire game, leading to sloppy play from both sides.

The Bills defense once again showcased it’s ability to create turnovers, picking off two Andy Dalton passes and recovering a fumble from AJ Green. The secondary was less successful handling the Bengals star wide receiver, who ended the afternoon with 7 receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown.

After back-to-back efficient showings from Tyrod Taylor, the Bills quarterback struggled against a stout Bengals defensive line. Taylor ended the afternoon completing 20 of 37 pass attempts for 166 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

Before the game, Bills head coach Sean McDermott decided to bench his struggling right guard John Miller in favor of Vladimir Ducasse. Starting left tackle Cordy Glenn was unable to start due to a lingering foot and ankle injury, leaving rookie Dion Dawkins to take his place. With a makeshift offensive line, Taylor was forced to deal with Bengals in his personal space all game long, resulting in 6 sacks.

Despite a mostly ineffective offense, the Bills took a 3-point lead into the fourth quarter, but it evaporated when rookie running back Joe Mixon scored a 5-yard touchdown run on the first play of the quarter to give Cincinnati a 17-13 lead.

Buffalo’s offensive struggles continued after former Bengals WR Brandon Tate returned a punt to the Cincinnati 16-yard line, going 3-and-out before a Stephen Hauschka 28-yard field goal cut the deficit to 17-16 with 9:03 remaining in the game.

The Bills never got inside the Bengals red zone again.

After hurtling back to Earth after wins over the Broncos and Falcons, the Bills take their 3-2 overall record and 3-1 record against the AFC into their bye week. The Bills return to the field on Sunday, October 22nd against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Era Field.

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