Head coach Ron Rivera and several players addressed the media after the team's 37-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Here are some of the highlights from their press conferences and media availability.
On what went wrong with QB Sam Howell today:
"Missed opportunities. That's the bottom line. First of all, you can't turn the ball over, which we did. And if you lose the turnover battle like that, you're going to get beat. That's the truth of the matter."
On how Howell handled what happened:
"I thought he handled some of the moments pretty well and I thought there was other ones that he probably could have done something different. We're going to get an opportunity to evaluate everything, evaluate what we're doing, make sure it's the right thing first and foremost. Then secondly, we'll evaluate how we thought the players did."
On the Buffalo's nine sacks:
"I think there's a certain point where when you get to pin your ears back, it gets tough. It gets tough, it really does. You'd like to be able to handle some of those things a little bit better, obviously, and we'll get an opportunity to evaluate it all."
On Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen making plays on third down:
"Yes, and again, it goes to rush discipline, being in our rush gaps. It was one of the things that we knew we had to do coming in. That was contain him, keep him in the pocket. I thought early on we were doing a great job in coverage and unfortunately because of that he was able to tuck the ball and avoid the pass rush."
On how to fix giving up 19 sacks over the course of three games:
"Well, you got to learn from it. That's how it's going to get corrected. If you don't learn from it, it's going to happen again. So, we'll coach it up, we'll try and learn from it and we'll see what happens."
On his message to the team following a tough loss:
"We'll tell them it's football. That's just the way it is. Then you got to learn from it. What you will really be judged on is how you handle what happened today. Did we learn from it? Did we get better? Did we improve? Did we do the things that give ourselves a chance to win next week?"
On his overall thoughts on the game:
"Yeah, just got to be better. You know, there's a lot of things, obviously it starts with me and I got to take better care of the football. Do a better job just leading my offense. Obviously a lot of things didn't go right today and it starts with me. But you know, the good thing is the sun will come up tomorrow, another opportunity to get better and go to work. We have a lot of stuff we can get better at. We're excited to go back and get better. But we have to play better and that starts with me."
On what issues he had today compared to the last few weeks:
"Yeah, just turnovers. I gave up some situations where I was trying to get the ball out of my hands and trying to avoid a negative play and I just kind of forced something. It wasn't a good decision. Just all those bad plays. I'll definitely learn from it, and I'll be better from it."
On taking nine sacks:
"Yeah, it was tough, especially when you get in a situation where you're down a few touchdowns at the end of the game and they know we're in a passing situation. So it's kind of, they have the advantage as far as the pass rush goes. But I mean, I've just got to do a better job and maybe we can do some things better, and try to limit the sacks. But yeah, that's definitely something we have to clean up."
On the things he liked from today's game that he can build on moving forward:
"It's hard to say right now. I mean, I think we did some good things the first two weeks of the season. I think early on in this game, we were moving the ball, we got into the red zone a couple times. But we just got to be able to finish those drives. We know the caliber offense that we can be, and the type of team that we can be. We just got to put it together, and just try to play good football each and every week. And if you don't, and you play a good team like Buffalo, credit them, they played a good game and we played about as bad as we can play."
On the process of flushing this loss from his memory:
"Yeah, I mean, I think the reality of it is you go back, you watch the film and you don't just flush it. You watch the film, and you try to learn from it. Because that's the only way that you're gonna get better. You can't just forget about it because it happened. So, we'll go back and be hard on ourselves. I'll be hard on myself, and I hold myself to a very high standard and I didn't play to that standard today. I'll go back and watch the film and look at ways that I can play better."
On what led to the interception right before halftime:
"Yeah, it was a miscommunication with the protection. We had a free guy, and I wasn't expecting him to be free. Obviously, that's my fault and I was trying to avoid the sack and just try to get it to the check down. But [S Micah Hyde] did a good job covering the check down, and made a good play. But yeah, I've got to either throw it in the dirt or throw it over his head."
On the turnovers:
"I said it on Tuesday, on Wednesday, if we beat ourselves it's gonna be tough. It's a good bunch. They have a lot of good players over there, a lot of vets and when you're playing against yourself it's really hard to beat teams like that. We didn't execute. We beat ourselves. You gotta give them their credit. They're a good football team and they played well today."
On bouncing back:
"Get back to work. That's the only way. Not much to say about this. We got beat up today that's all it is. We gotta bounce back we gotta get back to work."
On team morale after the game:
"Frustrated. I know a lot of the guys in the locker room are feeling just like 'eh'. I hate losing more than I like winning. It's tough. Especially when you lose by that much. It's deflating to the team a little bit but we gotta get back to work."
On the sacks and what went into them:
"A lot of things go into it. I'm not gonna point any fingers. It's a group effort, at the end of the day it's still a team game. When one thing doesn't go right it seems like 11 things don't go right so it's tough. That's a big thing but we just gotta wash it, get better, and hopefully get better next week."
On the fact that they couldn't make the plays they wanted to:
"It was a little alarming, but they played well today. They played better than us. We just gotta watch the film and get back to work."
On the game snowballing away from them:
"I wouldn't say snowballing exactly. I just feel like we missed a lot of opportunities and those are plays that we have to make."
On what happened defensively in the 4th quarter:
"You just have to be efficient once you get back out there. We have to make the plays that we need in order to get the ball back to the offense so that we can go out there with another opportunity."
On what they try to do when they see the quarterback struggling:
"We're a team, so we try to keep it together while we're motivating each other and we have to stay positive."
On what feeling they can take away from the game:
"For myself, I feel disappointed. I feel like we can just come together now and keep it going. This is motivation now for us."
On bouncing back next week:
"Same thing. Come to work. Nothing's going to change in our minds. We're gonna come to work. It's a long season. That was one game. We still need to correct, but that was one game. It's a long season and we can still make what we want to happen come true so just got to go to work."
On QB Sam Howell:
"He kept his poise. Through a storm like that, that was real tough and he didn't switch up on anybody. He didn't change his character and he stuck it out all the way to the last possession we got. I feel like as a young guy and as a QB, that's tremendous to me because that was a tough one. He didn't change. He kept his poise like I said. Shoutout to Sam."
On the Bills Defense:
"Shoutout to them. They came to play. They made some great plays today and they got the best of us so shout out to their defense. I wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season."
On improving off of today's game:
"Capitalizing in scoring situations. When you get the ball in the end zone, like I said going into this week, you have to score touchdowns and it's heartbreaking when you get to the 2 yard line and you don't quite get it in. That's on all 11 guys not executing and making sure we score 7 points. That game was still within reach at that moment and when you don't score it can be deflating to your offense because it puts your defense in a tough spot since they have to try and get another stop. I think we have to start there and execute as a whole."
On if they were surprised they weren't able to do what they had planned on offense:
"I think you have to give them credit. They're a championship football team. They've proven that year in and year out. Their defense is really solid. We knew going into the week that they would make us earn it because they don't really give up big plays. It forces your execution to be on point, so I have to first give them credit because they executed and they made us turn over the ball. They put us in some tough spots but, at the same time, we got to be better staying ahead of the sticks against a team like that. You have to be better with your spacing and making sure you're getting to 2nd or 3rd and manageable. We had our opportunities to keep it competitive and if you don't do that against a good team, the game can get out of hand because your defense will be on the field a bit longer."
On how difficult it is to flush this loss:
"On one hand, you do kind of have to flush the game because each week presents its own challenge, and we're going into a hostile environment and playing a divisional opponent next week in Philly and those kinds of games almost count for two because you're in your division. But at the same time if you don't address the things you didn't do well today, those same issues will show up next week. They're a very good football team, so it forces us to dig deep and do what we need to get better in 7 days to make sure those things don't happen. To a certain degree, we have to rest our bodies, look at the film over these next few games and come back stronger, but we also have to address the issues, so they don't show up again and we're not in a situation."
On how the team grows from this loss:
"I think it just forces everyone to look in the mirror and make sure this doesn't happen again. They came in here and they whooped us. You have to give them credit for that. That's why they're the team that they've been for so long. They're going to force you to beat them. When we're beating ourselves in certain situations and not capitalizing on certain opportunities, it makes it that much harder to beat championship teams. I think we're all going to look at how we can get better this week, from top to bottom. I think we have a great group of guys from top to bottom, so we're going to focus on what we can do better individually. You never want to go out there and put on that kind of showing. That's not the team that we are, but if we want to make sure that's not who we are, we have to come back better next week."
On today's loss and how to fix what happened:
"It wasn't going to be no Cinderella story where we go 17-0. Maybe. But like we got an L today. Now we're about see what kind of a team we are. Not just a small L; we got a big L today. So, it's gonna be like, how can we bounce back from this? Can we recover? Can we fix the issue like we made today and not repeat it next week? You know, that's what it is. People are going to try to exploit the mistakes we did this week, today, and then see if we fix it next week and that's what we need to do."
On what was said to him in the locker room at halftime:
"Not much. I just need to go out there and make more plays. Like I said earlier, we shot ourselves in the foot way too many times to really go out there and give ourselves a chance to win. Made some plays but we made a lot of errors that we usually wouldn't make so it was real hard to come back after that, you know. Other teams are going to capitalize on that. We come out there and we beat ourselves, it's going to be hard to beat another NFL team."
On what specifically needs to be worked on by the defense:
"Capitalize on the opportunities. Honestly, there's nothing that we went out there and the playbook wasn't working, the scheme, and all that stuff. We need to go out there and be a little bit more focused, you know. A little bit more of a sense of urgency to let's not even give them a chance to come back or to get the lead. Start, get out there and get the lead first. Score a few points. Let them trail from behind and panic and try to find a solution. Instead of us, shooting ourselves in the foot and rebound from zero and try to find a way to work with that like that."
On what he can take away from a loss like this:
"Oh, most definitely. I'd rather take an L, week three like this so I can learn from it than losing by that much week 16. Not when we're trying to make the playoffs, you know. Get all the mistakes and all the stuff we did bad right now so we can fix it and move on with the season."
On what's preventing the team from starting fast:
"It goes hand in hand. Special teams, offense, defense. We just need to capitalize on those opportunities. This isn't high school or college where you can make 5-6 mistakes and be like 'yeah, we are still in the game.' Once you fumble the ball, they're going to take it and they're gonna go score. If you don't intercept the ball and let it go through your hand, they're gonna go out there and score. If you don't stop them on third down, then they're gonna march down the field or get a field goal. So, we need to start focusing on these small little details and just stop and don't even give them any error chances to get any points because they're gonna get it."
Brian Robinson Jr.
On what the team could have done better today:
"Invest in the run game. Numerous amounts of time we put in positive yards in the run game. I would love to stick to it as a running back but sometimes that's not what's best for the offense. With that being said, I've just got to control what I can control. When my number's called, I've just got to make the most of it."
On the Bills defense getting nine sacks today and figuring out how to fix it:
"We've just got to find a way to protect the quarterback. You know, keep him off the ground. Make the extra efforts to protect him. We've just gotta max protect and just help him to stay up off the ground. It's a team effort. Sometimes, the offensive line, maybe, can hang on to their blocks a little longer. Runnings backs can stay in a little longer and help the offense line. [QB] Sam [Howell] can possibly move around and try to break the pocket the best way he can. It's a team effort. It's something we all gotta work on together and I think we'll get better with that."
On if the Bills defense did anything that surprised them:
"They didn't really do anything to surprise me. You know, they pretty much did everything they showed on film. They play hard. They play fast. They're detailed with their work and that was just something we had to play better today."
On what to watch for on film when things snowball throughout the game:
"We get real specific with it after we see the film and after we break it down. We had some keys to the game that we talked about beforehand. Scoring points in the red zone, didn't happen. We took a few trips down there, but we couldn't quite get it to go. These guys are battling their ass off man, we see it, we just couldn't punch it in. On those drives that we did get started, there's definitely a lot to build on. We'll get in the film room and see the specifics about it."
On encouraging a younger QB during a rough game:
"Sam [Howell]'s a great quarterback and a tough kid. As an offensive lineman, that's on our unit. We take that personally, we gotta do a better job of keeping him upright and getting him that extra tick. He's a baller! He's trying to make plays, and that's what we need out of him. Our guys up front take that very personally."
On Howell's composure today:
"Yeah, he's great. He's a true competitor, the definition. Dude is a warrior out there. He took some hits and got right back up and continued to sling the ball. We're going to keep battling for our guy number 14"