New Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott was supposed to bring a more disciplined approach than his predecessor. Rex Ryan’s Bills regularly amassed penalties that cost them games and in his preseason debut, McDermott’s team did the same.
The Bills were penalized 10 times for 106 yards, and that’s just the ones that were accepted. Buffalo was penalized four time on special teams, alone. McDermott mentioned his disappointment following the game.
“Good teams don't beat themselves and we beat ourselves numerous times tonight and we need to get that corrected in order to go where we want to go,” McDermott said in his postgame press conference.
Buffalo averaged seven penalties a game for 60 yards in 2016 according to NFLPenalties.com. They only had two games with more penalties and only one with more penalty yardage in 2016.
“I want the players to play not afraid to make a mistake and there’s a way, I believe in that mindset,” McDermott said later. “You go out there and you’re aggressive. I can deal with, at times, aggressive penalties. That said, the pre-snap and the post-whistle penalties, I can’t handle. Those are not a part of a winning formula for a football team. All the penalties, you know, obviously limited us offensively, and sometimes defensively, special teams-wise to what we were trying to get done. When you look at it, we had a chance to get off the field on a third down and we hit the quarterback. You can’t do that. [It was] a seven-point game at the end, and it ends up being the difference, potentially, in the football game.”