by Greg Gabriel, Buffalo Sports Page NFL Expert
The 2018 Buffalo Bills have fund several ways in which to lose games this year. Sometimes it’s been poor defensive play. Other poor offensive play. Still others, costly turnovers. Sunday at New Era Field, it was a combination of all and then throw in poor special teams play.
The Bills special teams on Sunday were perhaps the worst they have been all season. They gave up two long kickoff returns, let a field goal get partially blocked and had another attempt outright miss. Just too many mistakes in an important phase of the game. Good football teams don’t have those kind of mistakes with their special teams.
Josh Allen Running Too Much
Not only were special teams poor but so was the play of both the offense and the defense. Yes, Josh Allen rushed for 101 yards, but he also only hit on only 50% of his throws, had a fumble and threw two interceptions. Both interceptions were poor throws but the first one should never have been thrown in the first place as he was throwing across his body.
What is disappointing about Josh’s play right now is that he is making mistakes he shouldn’t be making at this point in his development. When playing from the pocket he is taking too long to process and is having trouble finding secondary receivers.
In recent games he has decided to run when his first or second receiver isn’t open. While he has been very productive doing so, he is failing to see that not only throwing the ball but throwing the ball to the proper receiver with accuracy is his primary job. Until he is able to stay in the pocket, go through a progression, find the open man and get the ball out of his hand quickly he won’t be a successful NFL quarterback. Yes, this takes time to learn to do properly but in Allen’s case it’s taken longer than we would have thought.
Granted the offensive line is below average and the wide receiver corps is young and inexperienced and those facts don’t help Allen mature as a player. It remains to be seen how he will play when he has a better supporting cast hopefully next year.
Defense Gets A Lot Of The Blame
As for the defense, their play Sunday was especially disappointing because they have been pretty much the mainstay of this team in 2018. The line was line was unable to get consistent pressure on the Jets quarterbacks and recorded no sacks. While rookie Sam Darnold didn’t exactly have a great day, he still was able to complete 16 of 24 throws for 170 yards. His late deep throw to along the right sideline to Robbie Anderson was perfectly thrown. That said, Tre’Davious White was in position to make a play on the ball and didn’t.
Another thing that was bothersome is late in the game when the Bills needed to stop the Jets, the Jets were able to run the ball, especially Elijah McGuire who was able to consistently get yardage after contact.
We know this isn’t a good Bills team and wins are hard to come by but we can expect a better effort. Sunday was a game the Bills had a chance to win and should have won but let it get away because of mistakes. With three games left, who are the Bills going to beat? The Detroit Lions come to town next week. Yes, they are a northern team but they also are a Dome team and when they have to play in the elements, they don’t play as well. Following the Lions, the Bills travel to New England then host Miami to close out the season.
The Bills are presently 4 -9. I think the best we can hope for is 6 – 10 but more than likely 5 – 11. At this point of the season though is a win really a loss?