North of the border bumbling: Bills crumble in 50-17 loss to Seattle Seahawks

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Even star receiver Stevie Johnson's golden grill couldn't put a shine on this Buffalo performance.

The Bills were hammered 50-17 by the Seattle Seahawks at the Rogers Centre in a 'home game' — and performance — that Buffalo fans probably were only too glad happened in another country.

"The bottom line is we played poorly on offence and defence today," Buffalo coach Chan Gailey said by way of summary.

"We played bad, we played poorly and if you play poorly against a good football team, you're going to look extremely bad and we played poorly and we looked extremely bad. We did," he added.

The ugly loss Sunday, before a less-than-capacity 40,770, officially eliminated the Bills (5-9) from playoff contention for the 13th year.

"We stunk it up today," said running back C.J. Spiller.

"I guess if you look back at it, it's an ugly loss of course," Johnson, a diamond stud glittering in his cheek and ear, added through golden teeth."

Johnson did his bit, hauling in eight passes for 115 yards. One was a marvellous one-handed grab that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick called "one of the best catches I have ever seen in person."

And Spiller's 103 yards rushing took him over 1,000 for the season.

But the Seahawks carved open the Buffalo defence in the first half, with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson bamboozling the Bills with his mobility.

Seattle's first-half possessions went like this: TD, TD, FG, TD, TD and punt. Still the Bills rallied with a late TD and field goal to cut the deficit to 31-17 at the half.

"If you guys were in here at halftime, the energy was there, everybody was excited," said Spiller. "We really thought that if we got the ball (in) the second half, go down and score real quick, we could turn the game around. And it just didn't happen and that's the part that hurts the most."

Buffalo had won the toss and chosen to defer. So Seattle kicked the ball away to open the second half.

But all that good work at the end of the first half went to naught as Buffalo opened the second half with a interception, fumble and interception. Seattle suddenly led 47-17 less than nine minutes into the third quarter.

"We came out and I had the interception and kind lost all momentum that we had and went downhill from there fast," said a frustrated Fitzpatrick, who completed 21 of 38 passes for 217 yards, one TD and two interceptions.

Gailey acknowledged that first interception "really hurt." And he pointed to dropped passes and other mistakes in killing drives throughout the game.

"We're not good enough to misfire and keep things going right now," he said. "We're not good enough to do that."

Having dug themselves in a hole, the Bills could not just rely on the running of Spiller.

Gailey listed off a string of motivations for his players when asked what they should be playing for at this stage of the season.

"I want them to play for themselves, for the fans, for professionalism, for pride."

And he rejected a question about the game's location as being a factor.

"I don't think where we played today had anything to do with it. I think you play good or you play bad, whether it's home, road, anywhere. The bottom line is you've got to play well or I don't care where you are."

Gailey has already had to answer questions about his future in the job and Sunday's performance won't help his job security. But the Buffalo coach offered no excuses for his team.

"When they don't play, the buck stops with me. I understand that."