Stevie Johnson: Effort isn’t cutting it

Oct. 14, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver (13) Stevie Johnson against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bills defeated the Cardinals 19-16 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The optimist would look at the Bills’ 37-31 loss to the Patriots on Sunday and praise them for hanging tough on the road with one of the better teams in the AFC. The pessimist sees it as a loss that dropped the Bills to 3-6 on the season and may have erased any hope they had of reaching the postseason. From the sound of it, Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey is the optimist and Stevie Johnson is the pessimist.

“Every week (Gailey is) saying that we have the effort … which is obvious,” Johnson said Tuesday morning on NFL AM, via Around the League. “At this point you can’t be a team that’s so-called turning the corner if you’re not winning games. We still have more work to do. We still have to learn how to finish these games.”

Buffalo trailed by only three points at one point in the fourth quarter. Like many other teams have done this season, Ryan Fitzpatrick and company were able to carve up the Patriots’ porous defense and find a way to stay in the game. However, costly turnovers and an inability to stop New England’s offensive attack ultimately buried the Bills.

“We just need to go to our bread and butter when we need to,” Johnson continued. “At that moment going against the New England Patriots, you know they’re going to go to (Rob) Gronkowski or Wes Welker. We have many weapons, C.J. (Spiller), me, Donald (Jones) and Scott Chandler. The four of us should have the opportunity at the end of that game.”

Hanging around and not finishing games just isn’t cutting it for the Bills anymore. Last season, they were one of the hottest teams in the NFL to start the year before injuries and poor play derailed them. Despite signing Mario Williams, who seems to enjoy boos and is hearing plenty of them, Buffalo’s defense has been horrendous. It’s hard to blame Johnson for not taking any positives out of Sunday’s loss.

More from Larry Brown Sports:
Photo: Dwyane Wade takes skinny jeans to an entirely new level
Mike D’Antoni was shocked the Lakers hired him over Phil Jackson
Nick Faldo: Sex scandal has damaged Tiger Woods