Aug 8, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiverSammy Watkins
(14) stands on the field prior to the start of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
There was much to take away from the Buffalo Bills 22-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. The Bills had trouble moving the ball only grabbing 292 yards of total offense, 75 of those yards coming on the Bills’ final drive of the game when the game was all but decided.
On that drive EJ Manuel released a pass intended for Sammy Watkins that came over the top and went incomplete. After the pass fell to the ground you could tell Watkins didn’t put his full effort into coming down with the catch.
You can see the play in the video below.
After the game Watkins talked about not putting his all into the play.
"“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.”"
One of the reasons circulated after the game as to why Watkins may have pulled up on the play was the lingering rib injury that Watkins sustained during the preseason. But Watkins addressed that topic as well.
"“Not at all,” Watkins said. “I just took off a play. That’s a play I always make and I should have made it.”"
There has been mixed reviews from analysts and fans around the league on whether or not they are okay with Watkins taking the play off. Some support his decision to possibly protect himself and some see the play as a move that should’t be made at the NFL level.
I am all for competing until the final buzzer but this play in general I am okay with. There was two minutes left to play in a game that was already out of the Bills’ reach. The play wasn’t make-or-break to the point where the play would have breathed new life to the Bills late in the game.
And as far as Watkins protecting himself from further injury, so what if he was. If Watkins would have went up for that ball and taken a shot to the ribs people would be talking about how it was a reckless play rather than him not going for the grab.
The rookie wide receiver has a bright future. A future that could have been shortened or hindered dramatically if he tried to make plays like the one on Sunday. When Watkins pulls down his next touchdown catch remember that he may not have been in that situation had he gone for that ball and gotten flattened by a Chargers defensive player.