ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen is becoming adept at rallying to the defense of his teammates and coaches.
On Sunday night, the Bills quarterback lowered his already sore throwing shoulder into the chest of Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke after New York players ganged up on right tackle Spencer Brown during a scuffle in the end zone.
On Wednesday, Allen raised his voice in support of coordinator Ken Dorsey, who is getting piled on for Buffalo’s suddenly sputtering offense.
“There’s a lot of All-Pro offensive coordinators out there watching games, a lot of quarterbacks in the stands who think they know what they’re doing,” Allen said sarcastically.
“All of it,” he added, when asked if the criticism of Dorsey was misguided.
“I trust him implicitly. If you look at the statistics over the last couple of years, of how much we’ve scored and how efficient we’ve been as an offense, we’re at the top or near the top in almost every statistical category,” Allen said. “Just because we’ve hit a lull right now doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the world. We’re working through some things and this adversity is going to help us moving forward to get our answers quicker.”
The quicker the better, perhaps.
Though he was listed as being a limited participant following a walkthrough practice, Allen said he has no concern over a sore right shoulder he hurt in the first half of a 14-9 win over the Giants.
“We’ll be ready to go,” he said, looking ahead to Buffalo (4-2) playing at division rival New England (1-5) on Sunday.
He’s confident the same will be the case for an offense that’s gone into a rut over the past two games, including a 25-20 loss to Jacksonville in London.
Against New York, the Bills were blanked until Allen oversaw two lengthy fourth-quarter touchdown drives to pull out a victory in an outing that wasn’t decided until the Giants’ final play — on an untimed down — ended with an incompletion at Buffalo’s 1.
Against Jacksonville, the Bills punted on six of their first seven possessions, and a two-touchdown fourth-quarter rally fell short.
The two outing followed a three-game winning streak in which Buffalo outscored its opponents — Las Vegas, Washington and Miami — by a combined 123-33.
Coach Sean McDermott expressed concern over the inconsistencies, while also dismissing a question about whether he’s considered taking away the play-calling duties from Dorsey.
“Zero,” said McDermott, whose offensive staff includes three coaches with past experience as coordinators.
“I’m confident in Ken Dorsey and our offensive staff,” McDermott said. “We’ve done some things well offensively this year. Of late, we’ve been certainly too inconsistent. And that’s what we have to look at here.”
Dorsey is in his second year on the job after spending the previous three seasons as Buffalo’s quarterbacks coach. He was short on specifics while pinning the struggles on execution and attention to detail, and saying the blame falls on him.
The two-game drop-off is familiar from the end of last season, when the Bills’ offense regressed and had difficulty finishing drives.
In the past two outings, Buffalo has crossed midfield on 10 of 19 combined possessions. During its three-game winning streak, the Bills crossed the 50 a combined 23 times on 27 possessions.
The sluggishness is also reflected in Buffalo’s red-zone production. Buffalo has scored touchdowns on five drives inside an opponent’s 20 in its past two outings. In its previous three outings, Buffalo combined for 12 TDs on 17 such drives.
“I wouldn’t say bewildering,” Allen said.
“Obviously, every time we touch the ball, we want to score and that hasn’t happened in the last couple of weeks,” he added. “It comes down to the guys on the field, myself included, on executing the plays that coach Dorsey calls.”
Offensive concerns aside, what’s abundantly clear is how much respect Allen gained for taking on Okereke. Buffalo scored its first touchdown three plays later.
“That’s a guy you want to play for,” said Brown, who left the game briefly to be evaluated for a knee injury. “They asked me if I wanted to go back in, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m not leaving a guy out there after he did that for me.’”
Center Mitch Morse had a slightly different take.
“I thought that was cool for about a quarter of a second, and then it was all hands on deck,” Morse said, referring to how Bills’ players left Brown to rescue Allen.
“Spencer’s getting molly-whopped because all of us are trying to get to Josh. It’s like, ‘Sorry, pal, you’ve got to take one for the team,’” Morse added, with a laugh. “It was impassioned. … We implore (Allen) to be as smart as possible. But then you’re asking guys not to play with passion, and that’s just not what you do.”