BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Taking care of the football was a point of emphasis for the Bills going into Sunday’s game against Indianapolis. It might not have been emphasized enough, as the Colts had four takeaways on the day that ultimately resulted in 21 points.
“One thing led to another today I think on all three phases of the ball,” quarterback Josh Allen said. “Starts with us taking care of the football and we didn’t do that today.”
They certainly didn’t. On the opening drive, trailing 7-0 already, Josh Allen was intercepted by George Odum. It abruptly ended their offensive drive, and the Colts turned it into another touchdown to go up 14-0.
“The safety made a good play,” Allen said. “He gets paid on that side of the football too. It’s a route concept that we run often, maybe they were sitting on it. It’s no secret. Again I’ve just got to be smarter with the football there.”
Another key turnover came in the second quarter. After the Colts went up 17-7, they kicked it off to the Bills and Isaiah McKenzie. While returning the kick, McKenzie fell down and fumbled the football. TJ Currie of the Colts picked it up and took it down inside the five. The offense scored one play later to go up 24-7.
“…I keep talking about it, you cannot turn the ball over, and we turn the ball over four times today that lead to 21 points so you just can’t do that,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “This team feasted on taking the ball away and we turn it over not only on offense but on special teams. You can’t do that and expect to win. You make it really hard on yourself.”
Josh Allen turned it over a second time in the second half when a pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders was tipped and caught by Kenny Moore. Once again, the Colts scored off the turnover.
“We are a really good football team when we don’t bite ourselves in the butt,” Allen said. “What we put on that field today is not who we are. I’ve got a lot of trust in a lot of faith in our team and there is no secret that we need to do a better job on all fronts.”
Backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky also threw an interception, but it didn’t lead to any points.
Take the points away from the turnovers, and the Bills suddenly are only down 20-15 late in the game.
Unfortunately for the Bills, the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” game only gets you so far. The truth is they didn’t execute when they needed to, and made costly errors that led to the loss.
“One thing after another today,” Allen said. “That’s really what it came down to and it was a big domino effect of why we lost that game and ultimately it was holding onto the football and not putting it in harms way and we did that too much tonight and again that’s a stat that will never really be wrong is the turnover differential and again we are not doing a good enough job with that.”
Allen finished the day with 209 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His big lesson from this game is to continue working on the little things that cost them Sunday afternoon.
“Just protecting the football, execution is what it comes down to,” Allen said. “We are not executing at a high enough level right now. It starts with me.”