BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — During the offseason Josh Allen talked about limiting the turnovers as one thing he wanted to correct moving forward but it wasn’t a good start towards that in a season opening overtime loss to the Jets.
Allen turned the ball over four times tying a career high as he threw three interceptions, all by Jordan Whitehead, and lost a fumble in a 22-16 loss on Monday night.
“I hurt our team tonight, I cost our team tonight,” Allen said after the game.
At times Allen looked like year one or year two Josh Allen and not one of the best quarterbacks in the league starting his sixth season. Two of his interceptions were throws forced deep and into double coverage.
The first wasn’t the end of the world, it came on 3rd and 8 as Allen was looking for Deonte Harty down field and just ended as if it were a punt anyway.
The Bills took a 13-3 lead at halftime and here’s where things got really ugly. On their first drive in the second half on 2nd and 13 from the Jets’ 41, Allen was picked off deep looking for Stefon Diggs on a play he didn’t have to make there, an example of Allen doing too much. That “hero ball” is what we saw more often in Allen’s earlier seasons in the league.
“At the end of the day they won the game but when you turn the ball over four times, we beat ourselves too,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said after the game.
In the fourth quarter, Allen was intercepted looking for Gabe Davis on a short pass where Whitehead jumped in front and made a great play. The Jets capitalized with a touchdown drive to tie the game at 13.
The very next play after the touchdown, Allen recovered a botched snap but tried to fight forward for a few yards and fumbled as he was hit.
The Bills also had trouble with the Jets defense last year in both games, the first one they lost at Metlife Stadium, 20-17 in a game where Allen threw two picks.
“It feels eerie similar to last year and I hate that it’s the same, I do.”
“I think their pass rush does a good job at disrupting things. I think they play smart defense. They don’t do a whole lot, they’re not over complicated. I think [C.J.] Mosley’s a good player in the middle, they caught the ball a few times tonight and that’s on me,” Allen explained.
“He knows he can play better, I know he’s capable of playing better, he’s capable of playing smarter as well and he’s gotta do that for us. It’s number one stay healthy and number two to take care of the football. He’s more than capable of doing that,” McDermott said.
Allen threw for 236 yards, a touchdown, those three interceptions and was sacked five times. He also ran for 36 yards on six carries.
“At the end of the day still had a chance to win it and that’s one thing I’ll always have is just the confidence to go out there and get it done,” Allen said. “We prepared so hard, the effort was there, our guys played so hard, defense gave us opportunities, they played a heck of a game. It sucks when you feel like you’re the reason and I am the reason why we lost tonight.”
It looked like Allen was starting to shake off the bad plays towards the end of regulation when he led the game-tying drive, capped off by a Tyler Bass 50-yard field goal with two seconds left to force overtime tied at 16.
But in overtime they couldn’t get anything going as the Bills, who started with the ball, went three and out. After that the Jets won it on a Xavier Gipson 65-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“Listen he’s [Josh Allen] hard on himself, you guys know him, he’s hard on himself, he wants to win and sometimes that’s times when it gets the best of him, right? And so just taking what the defense gives you and that’s a good defense and when they play the way they do they make you do things that you don’t wanna do but it can’t be to that extent like it was tonight so we gotta learn from this and bounce back on a short week here,” McDermott explained.
Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.