Stephen A. Smith never holds back on his opinions. Especially when they're on his ESPN show, "First Take." When the Buffalo Bills lost to the New England Patriots after the Patriots threw just three times, a take from Smith was incoming.
On "First Take" Tuesday, Smith took issue with how Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde responded to the media post-game. Stephen A. Smith told the league's best safety tandem to take a look in the mirror and realize losing at home, as they did, is unacceptable.
Stephen A. Smith has harsh words for Bills after loss to Patriots
Stephen A. Smith began a seven-minute segment about Monday night's game by saying this to the Bills.
"They threw three passes. They ran 48 plays and 45 of them were running plays and somehow, someway you ended up losing a game on your home turf. Again, if it were me as a reporter, I wouldn’t have asked a question like that. I would have asked, ‘How do you feel about the fact that they threw the ball just three times the whole game and beat you?’ Explain that. I wouldn’t have thrown it out like that. The flip side to it is that, if you Micah Hyde, you Poyer and those boys, you got to look in the mirror and understand that this team has owned the AFC East for the last 20 years basically, with the exception of last year."
Stephen A. Smith is right to call out Hyde and Poyer. The Bills defense is one of the few difference-making defenses that are reliable.
The Bills allow the second-fewest points per game and are tied for the most turnovers forced per game.
Part of Stephen A. Smith's quote is about Hyde and Poyer walking out of their press conference feeling disrespected by a reporter. Their body language told the story of being frustrated with themselves and the narrative that would follow about their run defense.
But against the run-heavy Patriots, the Bills looked lost on all three levels of the defense. The Patriots' offensive line was more physical than the Bills' defensive line.
The Bills gave up 126 more yards on the ground than their season average ahead of the game.
The humiliating loss now puts the Bills three games behind the Patriots in the AFC East standings. The Bills were looked at as the favorites in the division before the season started.
But the Patriots are back in control and in control of their destiny in their pursuit of the number one seed.
The Bills and Patriots will clash again in three weeks. That game could likely decide the division pending the results of the next two weeks.