The Buffalo Bills eliminated themselves from the playoffs in spectacular fashion Sunday, putting forth their worst effort of the year with the season on the line in a 27-6 thrashing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa needed only 18 seconds to put the game away. Bobby Rainey ran for an 80-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage to give the Bucs all the points they would need on the afternoon.
That one play accounted for about a third of Tampa's yardage output for the afternoon, as the defense put forth a decent effort. But EJ Manuel literally gave away any chance the Bills had of staying competitive. he threw four interceptions on the afternoon and went only 18-of-33 for 184 yards. Fellow rookie Mike Glennon actually played worse for the Bucs, going 9-of-25 for 90 yards and two interceptions, but he did throw touchdowns to pace the rout. He hit Vincent Jackson on a 38-yard strike late in the first quarter to give Tampa a 14-3 lead. He then found Tim Wright from five yards out in the first half's final seconds to increase the lead to 24-3.
Manuel got no help. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller combined for 34 yards on 16 carries. The offensive line was also manhandled on passing downs and let Manuel get sacked seven times. The best play of the game for Buffalo, an 83-yard reception by Spiller, was called back on a holding penalty – one of 11 Buffalo took on the day for 114 yards.
In a season in which the Bills have gone 4-9, calling any one game the worst of the season is no small statement. But that's exactly what Sunday was for Buffalo.
"I find it difficult, after that game, to defend a lot of things," said coach Doug Marrone, who closed the locker room after the game to let players vent to each other. "I know we played poorly in all three phases."
Buffalo plays at the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.
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