When Josh Allen connected with Stefon Diggs for a 42-yard gain on the first play of the game, it seemed like business as usual for the Bills. Instead sloppy play, mistakes and miscues turned into a 20-17 loss to the Jets as Buffalo is now 0-2 in the AFC East.
“It’s tough to win in this league playing a good team and your quarterback plays like (expletive). Made some bad decisions tonight, really cost our team, a lot to learn from, a lot to grow from, but that’s not the standard we hold ourselves to, that’s not the ball that we play so a lot to look at, a lot to learn from,” Josh Allen said after the game.
The Bills offense played poorly in the second half in last week’s 27-17 win over the Packers on Sunday night football and some of those mistakes lingered in this one. Allen was picked off twice, once on their opening drive, the other came in the third quarter.
“It’s hard to win the game when you turn the ball over, we were sloppy with the football. We had opportunities overall and we shot ourselves in the foot. Give credit where credit’s due, they made more plays than we did and in some ways we beat ourselves,” Sean McDermott said in his post game press conference.
The Jets didn’t capitalize off Allen’s first interception as the Bills defense forced a three-and-out. But the second pick, they took advantage. Rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner’s pick in the third quarter set up the Jets in the red zone and Zach Wilson finished the drive with a short throw to running back James Robinson who ran seven yards to the end zone untouched. That gave the Jets the lead they never gave up.
“I trust Josh, I have ultimate trust in Josh, he’s a heck of a football player, it’s important to him so he knows, he knows that those are non-negotiable those plays right there. It’s gonna happen from time to time just by percentages and times you throw, so just overall its gotta improve,” McDermott said.
“You wanna win these obviously these are the ones that can make or break you. Good thing is everything that we still want is in front of us,” Allen said.
The Bills took a 14-3 lead with 6:30 to go in the first half thanks to Allen’s 36-yard touchdown run. But that was the last time they found the end zone. From there, the Bills only scored three points the rest of the game.
We saw something similar last week against Green Bay where the Bills only scored three points in the second half and Allen threw two interceptions in that game as well. The only difference is the Bills put up 24 points before that and were able to hold off any kind of Packers comeback to win.
Stefon Diggs ended as the Bills leading receiver with five catches for 93 yards. But outside of him, no one could get much of anything going in the passing game. Gabe Davis has been inconsistent this season. He only had two catches for 33 yards on five targets. Dawson Knox didn’t make any noise with three catches for 25 yards.
Allen has many weapons at his disposal but in this game, it seemed like Diggs was the only reliable option.
“Listen, it can’t be a one-man show, I don’t think it’s a one-man show but there definitely needs to be more consistency from some of the other positions and putting them in position as well and that starts with me. So we gotta put them in position to be successful,” McDermott explained.
Allen ended 18-34 for 205 yards passing and those two interceptions. He added 86 yards rushing on nine carries and two touchdowns.
Something to monitor throughout the week as the Bills get ready for the Vikings is the health of Allen. As he was sacked and fumbled on the third to last play of the game, it looked like he hurt his right arm/elbow area. Allen threw an incomplete pass on the next play and after was grabbing his lower arm.
“There’s some slight pain but we’ll get through it,” Allen said when asked about it after the game.