ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Last week after their loss to the Bengals, Josh Allen said the math “is not pretty” when it comes to how many games the Bills likely need to win in order to make the playoffs versus the number of games left.
At the time, they were sitting at 5-4 and on the outside looking in of the postseason picture. If he thought the math was bad then, it’s even uglier now after a devastating loss to the Broncos as time expired on Monday night.
“Yeah I’m still confident but it’s no secret the clock’s ticking, gotta have some urgency now,” Allen said after the game.
The Bills lost to Denver as the Broncos hit a walk-off field goal when moments earlier it seemed they sealed the win after Will Lutz’s 41-yard attempt was wide right — but the Bills had 12 men on the field and on the second try, a 36-yard attempt was good to drop Buffalo to 5-5 on the year.
“It sucks, shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. It’s a lot of bad football, a lot of bad football,” Allen said.
The New York Times has the Bills with a 19% chance of making the playoffs and just a 9% chance to win the division as Buffalo is in jeopardy of missing the postseason for just the second time under head coach Sean McDermott and the first time since Josh Allen’s rookie year in 2018.
The Bills have been in a downward spiral ever since their dominating win over the Dolphins in Week 4. Things started going south in their Week 5 loss to Jacksonville in London, and from there, the offense just hasn’t looked quite right.
Slow starts, miscues, turnovers, execution, play calling — all have been problematic for Buffalo. Even in the games they’ve won since Week 5 against the Giants and Bucs, things weren’t pretty in those either.
As for this game against Denver, the Bills start the game with a James Cook fumble, then on their second drive, Allen was intercepted after a pass intended for Gabe Davis deflected off his hands and into the arms of Justin Simmons. Buffalo turned the ball over four times on the night as Allen was picked off again late in the first half and fumbled trying to hand the ball off to Cook. The Bills have not won the turnover battle since their win over the Dolphins in Week 4.
Right now, the season is split into the first four games of the season versus the last six. The Bills have only won the turnover battle three times this season, all of those during their three-game winning streak against the Raiders, Commanders and Dolphins. Against Jacksonville, they tied with two turnovers a piece and since then have lost the turnover battle in every game.
When it comes to the offense, there’s a question of whether it’s scheme or just players not executing that have led to the team’s woes.
“There were times early in the game where we dropped the football, the football was there and we dropped it I think there were multiple players that had opportunities to make catches and they didn’t make the catch so that’s part of the evaluation is okay is it scheme or when guys are open catch the football so but you evaluate the whole thing,” McDermott said after the Broncos game.
McDermott has said he’s confident in offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and still sung that tune after the game, but added that he believes the Bills offense “can be better at the same time.”
So do drastic changes need to be made and if so, what?
“I think I need a little bit of time here just after the game to assess that, obviously I’m not real happy right now so I’ll evaluate that over the next 24 hours here see where it takes us,” McDermott said.
Now the Bills turn their attention to the Jets, another team that it feels on paper they should beat, on a short week. And it only gets tougher from there, with games against the Eagles, Chiefs, Cowboys and Dolphins left on the schedule.
The current reality is the Bills will likely end up missing the playoffs, which will lead to an offseason full of questions and decisions that will need to be made.
Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.