Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins caught for just 19 yards in his team's 22-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 21. He owned up to it, telling ESPN he took a play off on their final drive of the game.
Sammy Watkins had an off day in the Buffalo Bills' 22-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 21.
How To: Buy a Pokemon Go Plus
The Buffalo rookie wide receiver caught for just 19 yards during the game. He admitted to ESPN's Mike Rodak he took a play off on the Bills' final drive of the game:
"The Buffalo Bills 22-10 loss Sunday to the San Diego Chargers was a pump-the-brakes moment for rookie Sammy Watkins as much as it was for his teammates.
"Watkins caught just two passes from EJ Manuel on eight targets. Both receptions -- for three yards and 16 yards -- came in the fourth quarter, making Watkins largely a non-factor for most of the game.
"It was a stark difference from last week when Watkins seemed to have put an injury-riddled preseason behind him with an eight-catch, 117-yard performance in a win over the Miami Dolphins.
"Part of the setback falls on Watkins' shoulders. On a second-and-7 play on the Bills' final drive of the game, Manuel delivered an accurate pass to where Watkins should have been, but the rookie receiver clearly let up on his route as he faced oncoming defenders from the secondary.
"To his credit, Watkins owned up to it.
"'That was on me. I didn't finish the play,' he said. 'That was supposed to be a caught ball. I didn't help the team out on that play.'
"Watkins denied that his rib injury, which he characterized as 'nagging' last week, played a part in what appeared to be an attempt to avoid contact.
"'Not at all,' Watkins said. 'I just took off a play. That's a play I always make and I should have made it.'
"As for Manuel's other five incompletions to Watkins, the Bills said the Chargers weren't doing anything special to take Watkins away.
"'They really weren't,' coach Doug Marrone said. 'They were just playing some good leverages. They were runnin guys out to any of the quick slants, but they didn't have anything where I thought it was a real set plan to take him out. We just didn't have a lot of opportunities.'
"'For the most part I got open,' Watkins said. 'They played a very good scheme, sometimes they doubled me and sometimes they didn't. We didn't finish.'
"'I don't think it was anything keying on Sammy,' Manuel said. 'I think it was more so they just played some more (cover) three buzz type coverages. That was about it.'
"The passing problems weren't relegated to Watkins and Manuel. Overall, Manuel completed just seven of his 21 targets to his wide receivers."
The Buffalo News' Tim Graham points out the sub-par performance of the Bills' secondary was one of the factors in the 12-point loss to the Chargers:
"Confusion, chaos and injury afflicted the Buffalo Bills' pass defense.
"The Bills could neither cover nor tackle the San Diego Chargers. Penalties made matters worse.
"Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had his way in Sunday's 22-10 victory. Not even steady wind gusts could help the Bills' defense, which surrendered an average of 10 yards every time Rivers threw a pass, let alone completed one.
"'Honestly, I think it's our fault, secondary-wise,' Bills safety Aaron Williams said. 'I think we gave him too easy a look, and when you give a good quarterback easy looks, he's going to find weaknesses in a defense.'
"In the Bills' locker room, cornerbacks Corey Graham and Stephon Gilmore expressed their desire to play more, but coach Doug Marrone has them rotating with Leodis McKelvin.
"Although Graham was one of the Bills' best players through two games, McKevlin placed him in Sunday's starting lineup.
"'We all want to start,' Graham said. 'You name a cornerback or a player that don't want to start, you're probably naming a guy that don't got a job.
"'We're all competitive. We want to start. We want to play as much as possible. This is just how it is. We're going to have a rotation. That's going to happen regardless. But I'd be sitting here, lying if I said I didn't want to start.'
"Said Gilmore: 'Obviously, I want to play every snap. But that's the coach's call. It is what it is.'
"Bills defensive backs were in and out of the lineup because of injuries, too."
Don't Miss: iPhone 8: Everything You Need to Know
For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today.