Pitt product LeSean McCoy racked up 119 yards on a recently injured ankle on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to lead his Buffalo Bills to the second round of the playoffs, as they fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 10-3 in the AFC Wild Card Game to close out their season.
Heading into Sunday’s game, it was unclear if McCoy would be able to play due to the ankle injury he suffered against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 31. However, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirmed Sunday morning that McCoy would be active for the game, noting that he watched more film than usual to compensate for the practices he was forced to miss.
To an extent, the strategy seemed to work for McCoy, as he amassed 75 yards on 19 runs, averaging just under four yards per carry. He added 44 yards on six receptions, bringing his total production up to 119 yards on the day. However, a third of his rushing yards came on one 25-yard run, and factoring that out, he averaged a less spectacular 2.8 yards per carry.
Perhaps the most telling stat for the Bills was that McCoy, who had a fairly average game by his standards, was the team’s leading rusher and receiver. And as it turns out, an average day was not enough to get the job done against the No. 2 defense in the league in a win-or-go-home playoff matchup on the road.
Another Pitt subplot unfolded toward the end of the game, as backup quarterback Nathan Peterman stepped in for the injured Tyrod Taylor with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Before his hometown crowd, Peterman took the field on 4th-and-3, dodged a sack and scrambled four yards for a first down.
Peterman then completed a 14-yard pass to receiver Deonte Thompson for another fresh set of downs. But then things fell apart, as he threw an incompletion and then a game-ending interception that found its way into the hands of Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
While it’s not terribly surprising that Peterman, a rookie taken in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, was unable to save the day for the Bills, particularly given his previous showings this season, the big what-if is how things might have shaken out had McCoy been playing at 100 percent.