ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey questioned his players' mental toughness on Monday, one day after the team's embarrassing -- and near-historic -- second-half collapse against the New England Patriots.
Placing the blame on everyone, including himself, Gailey called it his responsibility to address how the Bills squandered a 14-point lead, by allowing the Patriots to score 45 second-half points in rallying to a 52-28 win.
"You can't be ahead 21-7 in the third quarter. And if we're mentally tough like we need to be, that game doesn't end up the way it ended," Gailey said. "And that's my responsibility, to work on the mental toughness and the mindset of this football team."
Gailey was unhappy with how his high-priced defense missed too many tackles and was pushed around in allowing 580 yards of offense -- the second-highest total allowed in Bills history.
The Patriots scored touchdowns on six consecutive possessions and became just the NFL's fifth team to score both 45 points in the second half of a game and 31 in a fourth quarter.
"After a game like that, you're dissatisfied with a lot of things. Let's not just pick out one thing," Gailey said. "I've got to work on the mindset of this football team and creating a sense of urgency every snap of every game."
The collapse by the defense was monumental.
"Next game, that's the mood," defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said. "No setback. Just got to move forward. Things happen, you know, a tale of two halves."
Gailey dismissed a question of how the Bills now have given up 100 points in two games against AFC East foes.
"You can throw statistics and numbers out all you want," he said. "I'm more concerned about how we play, the intensity and quality of play than I am the numbers that are thrown out there right now. Our quality of play is not where it needs to be."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press