ORCHARD PARK, N.Y - Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, who brought California cool with his Rams playbook, blew hot in Sunday's post-game speech to his team.
In the wake of the Bills' 21-17 victory secured on an interception of Andy Dalton at the Bills 10 with 12 seconds left, Taylor's voice could be heard in the adjacent interview room.
Basically, he was telling his players in a raised, animated voice to hang in because they're playing tough enough and battling enough to win. Safety Jessie Bates admitted that was a new side to Taylor.
"Zac's kind of a calm and cool guy. I think that gets us going, too, when gets fired up," Bates said.
Safety Shawn Williams loved it.
"I love Zac. That's all I could think about," Williams said of the talk. "I'll play for him. I'll never quit on that guy. Not him … He wants to win. He knows how to win. We just have to put it together."
Taylor kept his composure, but he sees plays like the holding call that wiped out Darius Phillips' kick return TD and the 12-men on the field penalty that forced them to score a touchdown at the end and not kick a tying field goal and knows how close they are to 2-1 instead of 0-3. He also knows what's next: "The wolves are coming and they're going to tear us apart." He defined wolves as "anybody who's not in our building."
" It's just so disappointing because we were right there at the end, we need to make a stop on defense and make another play on
offense and come out of here with our first win in a big game and we just couldn't get it done," Taylor said.
NO TOUCH: Right tackle Bobby Hart was as surprised as anybody that he was ejected after the interception for touching an official. Hart said went up to the official to ask if the guy that made the interception, cornerback Tre'Davious White, was down. Because from what Hart could see the Bengals got a safety because White scrambled to his feet and ran through the end zone without being downed.
"I just asked him if he was down. I shocked him," Hart said. "I didn't think I touched him, but he threw the flag."
BIG PLAY: Moments after the Bengals took the lead at 17-14 with 4:54 left, the Bills delivered the killer when quarterback Josh Allen found tight end Dawson Knox all alone for the longest play by anybody all day, a 49-yarder that set up Frank Gore's winning one-yard touchdown run with 1:50 left.
"There was no miscommunication. It wasn't a busted coverage," Bates said. "All I know is that it was Cover Two."
Williams: "I have to look at it. It happened too quick."
Check out game action photos from the Week 3 contest against the Buffalo Bills.
STATE OF TATE: Wide receiver Auden Tate had quite a first career start. He had a career-high and game-high 88 yards, but his hold on Darius Philips' 92-yard kick return will get all the controversial ink.
"When you look at it, it's going to be hard to see," Bates said.
Taylor said the Bengals made the move of replacing Damion Willis with Tate and putting Tate at flanker and moving John Ross to X receiver during the week. Ross had a rough one. The NFL receiving yardage leader had his NFL-leading fifth drop and had a fumble before finishing with two catches for 22 yards.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (15-for-23 for 218 yards in the second half), went for Tate on what turned out to be their last play. He threw it behind him and safety Micah Hyde tipped it to White for the pick.
"I've got to throw a better ball," Dalton said.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM: Left end Sam Hubbard was all over the place Sunday chasing Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
"Hard guy to catch and he's big," Hubbard said.
Hubbard, hobbled by an ankle loaded with ice, was hugging Allen when he threw the ball for cornerback Darius Phillips first NFL inteterception and the one that got the Bengals breathing again. "I'd rather have the interception than the sack," Hubbard said.