Can the Bills Climb back to the Top of the AFC East

Hey everybody, the Bills are currently 6-3, and the sky hasn’t fallen on them yet. They still have plenty of time to get back to their winning ways, as long as they continue to show that they are a good NFL team.

Before

It wasn’t until last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings that Josh Allen threw two interceptions in three-consecutive games. Oddly enough, the Buffalo Bills are 1-2 in these games played. The last time the Bills and the offense scored a touchdown under Allen, came in week 6, when the Bills squeaked out a 24-20 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Don’t worry, Bills fans, most of this season has been very successful and even as of these last two weeks. In two first half games they have scored 24 points. That’s the good part. What’s concerning is the two defeats they’ve taken have come from one major factor-Allen giving the ball away to the opposing defenses.

Number 17 is one of the NFL’S risk-taking quarterbacks, but these turnovers may be a wake up call he needs to balance his act with caution. That means instead of forcing a ball vertically downfield, he may need to take the boring, but smart check down pass. One thing is for certain, since his explosiveness has taken off in 2020, 2022 has been a very up and down version of the superstar quarterback Bills Mafia has gotten to know and love.

Prior to Week 8 and the int streak, the former Wyoming Quarterback averaged a depth of target of 8.3 yards, which was tied for 17th in enabling signal callers. Despite that, Allen made 13 throws of 20+ yards through the air. Buffalo’s offense had a balanced formula, which equaled a very dynamic spread it out offense and speed in its backfield.

Allen was off to another fantastic start with a 78.1 modified completion percentage which is unheard of for a perfect quarterback. His plus ratio of 17 touchdowns and four ints were part of the equation of being first in the MVP vote.

Trouble Started

In week 8 against the Packers, Allen began to recklessly play overaggressive. This is exactly when the current trouble hit. With the Bills ahead 27-10, tight end Dawson Knox was wide open over the middle. Allen could have thrown it to him, but instead ran out of the pocket. Then, with Khalil Shakir open way past the sticks for a first down, Allen weirdly threw the ball in front of his body to Gabe Davis but the defender cut underneath and intercepted the pass.

It’s no surprise Allen has made many types of those throws and he’s in that tiny portion of signal callers who are green-lighted to sometimes make that decision. In this case, it was uncalled for as the Bills were up big and looked on their way to scoring a touchdown to put the game away on that drive.

Instead of making the safe throw for a first down to move the chains, Allen went full Evil Knievel and crashed back down to reality.

Three Improvements to work on

1-Turnovers

Like a bad song stuck in your head, the Bills offense play very well for the most part, but then they were hit with the turnover bug. It turned a potentially great win on Sunday to a costly overtime loss. It has also turned into a recent trend. For the fifth sequence in their previous six contests, the Bills turned the ball over at least twice. Their four turnovers against the Vikings costed them crucial points and they handed Minnesota points. As a result, the team lost a contest that they should have taken themselves.

The Bills were moving the ball, scoring, and creating turnovers on defense. It also was factual that the Bills were negative in the turnover differential for the third straight game. Their four turnovers left them at minus-two for the game. Devin Singletary made the first mistake by fumbling in Minnesota territory late in the first half. Luckily, Buffalo’s defense stopped the Vikings on fourth down, but the Bills could have at least kicked a field goal if not for the fumble.

Allen has to take the blame for the other three giveaways with a fourth quarter int that the Vikings turned into a score. He fumbled at his own goal line that Minnesota recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Lastly, the game sealing pick in the end zone in OT gave the team in Purple the win 33-30.

The native Californian currently has a total of 10 picks and has lost the ball for fumbles four times. Going back to Week 5, six of Allen’s eight turnovers have occurred down in the red zone.

2-Not putting Teams Away

It’s without a doubt when the Bills offense is on, they are hard to stop. The Bills are now such a great team with a quarterback who thinks he’s part human and part SEO checkpoints. They have had many games where they have blown out the opposing team by scoring touchdowns when they need to and keeping their foot on the gas. One thing they’re not used to is playing in close games, as the Bills only have 2 wins in close games this season.

The Bills are the type of team that when they blow out teams, they are doing everything right, especially not turning the football over. But when they get into these nail biting contests, it’s usually one thing that always happens and that the Bills are beating themselves with turnovers. In the Vikings game on Sunday, the Bills had an opportunity to put them away with over 10 minutes remaining in the game. But Allen threw a costly interception that may have led to a Bills touchdown and a 34-17 lead. Keep in mind folks, while the NFL circle thought it was a great game (which it was), the Bills had plenty of chances to end it in regulation.

3-Losing Double Digit Leads

The Bills with no question have one of the NFL’s scariest and opportunistic defenses that just gives no room for opposing offenses. They have only allowed a league low 14.8 points per game and create turnovers in the secondary. You would think having this dominant of a defensive unit would be numb to blowing double digit leads but sometimes, it happens to even the best of them all.

With the Bills leading 27-10 against Minnesota with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, they seemed to have it all wrapped up. They were bitten by the turnover bug again as they failed to reach the end zone in the second half, and it resulted in a costly loss.

The Vikings aced 20 consecutive points, 14 of them being turnovers, to go up 30-27 with under a minute to play.

A week earlier, the Bills were up 14-3 against the New York Jets, but Tyler Bass missed a field goal at the end of the first half. The Jets outscored the Bills 17-3 in the second half, dropping the first close loss during the teams two game losing streak.

In-Closing

Call to mind that our friend Patrick Mahomes had an aggravating point in 2021, when the strong armed quarter back threw for eight interceptions in a five-game period.

Similar to Mahomes, Allen has demonstrated his superior physical and athletic traits which are something that can’t be taught on the field. His commitment to the sport and learning then putting his play calls into action is what makes him the leader he is today.

And oh I forgot to say, that Allen was playing with a slightly torn UCL injury from last week, just saying.

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5 thoughts on “Can the Bills Climb back to the Top of the AFC East

  1. As long as Allen can get his groove back they’ll be good but he’s really fallen off the past 3 games. Last two losses were totally his fault.

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