The Buffalo Bills lost a key AFC matchup on Sunday despite holding rookie quarterback Andrew Luck largely in check. Head coach Chan Gailey spoke after the game and shared some less-than-inspiring sentiments.
"It’s hard. I told our players our goal now is to get to 7-7," said Gailey to close his press conference. "That’s where the world champions were last year, that’s our goal. We have to get to 7-7 and then see where everything sits, because that’s where they were and they won it all, so see if we can get to that."
Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't as easygoing about the loss after going 17-for-33 for 180 yards with a touchdown and interception.
"This is one we obviously really needed," Fitzpatrick said. "I don’t really want to project or talk about the next however many games we have left. It’s all about getting back to work and trying to win next week. That’s all we can worry about."
"It’s definitely not what we wanted," added Fred Jackson. "It’s going to be hard to get where we want to get, but we have to keep fighting. It was good to get back out there, but I didn’t do much. I felt like it was hard to be out there and not do much for the team. Hopefully we get things turned around though."
Jackson ran the ball six times as the backup to C.J. Spiller, who carried just 14 times for 107 yards. The offense sputtered all day but for a few drives, and maintained trouble in key spots on third down and in the red zone.
"In the red zone, we start focusing when you get down in there, the 15-yard line and tighter," said Fitzpatrick. "That’s when teams start doing different things and we’re having trouble. I think both times we were near the 20, we stalled out. And then you saw the one play we got down there. We were able to do some things and get it in. We’re having problems right now. It is considered the red zone, but for a couple weeks now it’s been around the 20-yard line where we haven’t been able to get a lot done."
Wide receiver Stevie Johnson topped 100 yards receiving for the first time this season, but he openly questioned the playcalling after the game, saying they should give more freedom to Fitzpatrick.
"How I see it, I think we need to let our quarterback call these plays," said Johnson. "He’s out there on the field. He sees the adjustments that need to be done. I think we just need to let him make the adjustments on the go. I think that’s the way we can move the ball better. He did it a little bit in the game and we moved the ball. That’s how I feel about it. In the fourth quarter, we were pushing it. We were in a groove. He was hitting C.J. (Spiller), getting his run plays, doing the pass plays, and I just think we should just do it more often."
Johnson continued when pressed by reporters: "The play calling is cool. In the situations, we are the ones out there on the field. He knows what to check into and check out of. It’s different when you are looking from the booth and say, ‘Okay, they might be in this’ than being out there. That’s just my take on it. I just think that he has the ability to control the offense 100 percent. I think we should take advantage of that."
Gailey was peppered with questions about his future following the game. With Johnson questioning him in the locker room, even optimistic fans need to begin thinking about the off-season. Gailey is still focusing on 2012, as he is coaching for his job and a slim chance at the playoffs.
"We haven’t put it all together," said Gailey when asked about how frustrated he was. "We have one group do well and then two other groups, defense or special teams can’t do good when offense does good. We’re not putting it all together. We’ve shown signs of everybody playing well but we’ve got to put it all together and that’s the mark of a good football team and that’s my responsibility to get a team to play in all three phases where they need to play to win football games and that’s my responsibility."