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Doug Marrone admits need to run clock after sack late in half

By Mark Gaughan

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone acknowledged he should have had his offense slow down after taking a sack late in the first half of Sunday's loss to the New York Jets.

The Bills got the ball on their own 25 with 1:41 left in the half. EJ Manuel was sacked for an 8-yard loss on first down. Manuel completed a 9-yard pass on second down, but then threw incomplete on third.

The Jets took possession after a punt on their own 34-yard line with 43 seconds left. The Jets had enough time to drive for a 47-yard field goal.

Marrone explained his thought process and admitted he made a judgment error.

"Looking back, here's exactly what was going through my mind," he said. "We were going to get the ball in the second half. I tend to be aggressive before that. What happened was we took the sack for minus-9. We come back and make it up on second down. We get 9 or 10 yards.

"Now we're down to a manageable third down. We actually wanted to take a shot vertically down the field, and we wound up throwing an intermediate route incomplete."

Marrone said he should have run on second and third down to make the Jets use their times out or to run clock.

"When we took the sack and we were at second and 18 or 19 -- and I told this to the team -- we all make mistakes. In hindsight, we go back, we take the sack, the percentages of making second and 18 to a first down ... Run the football, either to use the timeouts or the clock runs down, and go.

"So you're exactly right. I'm not going to sit up here and defend that it was the right decision. It was a decision that I also questioned after the game."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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