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Leonard Fournette, Tom Brady Not Helping Bills Safeties Prove 'Embarrassing' Question Was Out Of Line

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- On Monday night, after the Patriots ran the football for 222 yards while throwing just three passes in a win in Buffalo, Bills safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer took offense when a reporter asked if it was "embarrassing" to lose in such fashion.

On Sunday afternoon, Poyer and Hyde got a chance to show that the Bills' run defense isn't soft, and that there's nothing to be embarrassed about. But ... the first opportunity to prove that went rather poorly.

The Bucs did go three-and-out to start the game, but that was mostly due to a bad snap on the first play. On the Bucs' second possession, they drove 67 yards on five plays for the first score of the game.

That score came via touchdown run by Leonard Fournette, a play that won't make the personal highlight reels of Poyer or Hyde.

Poyer was the first safety trying to make a play at the second level, but he had the unfortunate fate of standing in the way as the 6-foot-6, 338-pound Donovan Smith rolled right down Broadway. That showdown ended as you'd expect:

(Poyer also got hit with a defensive holding penalty one snap before this.)

Hyde then had the chance to chase down Fournette to prevent the score. But Hyde just couldn't catch up. Hyde offered a shove on Fournette, but all that did was send the running back flying through the end zone:

While a 47-yard run certainly is not solely the fault of the safeties, they are supposed to be the last line of defense. (Hence the position being named ... safety.) And after feeling so offended on Monday night, this likely wasn't what Hyde and Poyer had in mind to try to prove the worth of Buffalo's rush defense.

Also not helping matters was the fact that 44-year-old Tom Brady was able to sort of run at will early in the game. He ran a sneak to gain two yards on a third-and-1, and he scrambled for 12 yards on the very next snap.

Later in the drive, he scrambled for a three-yard gain to convert a third-and-2, giving him 17 rushing yards in the first quarter. That's more rushing yards than he's had in any full game all year long. In fact, it was more rushing yards than he's had since Week 14 of the 2019 season. It was only the second time since 2015 that Brady's run for 17 yards in a game.

By the middle of the second quarter, the Bucs led the game 17-3 ... after a touchdown pass thrown right over Hyde:

(There's obviously no shame in getting beaten by the greatest quarterback of all time and a wide receiver who's on a Hall of Fame track. But still! Not helping.)

So ... it wasn't a great start for the Bills' run defense. Asking them if they're embarrassed is still off limits, but the results early on Sunday weren't at all what they were hoping for after Monday night's unfortunate showing.

The Bills ended up having a dynamite second half, coming back from a 27-10 deficit, only to lose in overtime on a 58-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Breshad Perriman.

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