As good as Josh Allen has been, his penchant for turning the ball over has been an Achilles heel for the Buffalo Bills’ sixth-year quarterback. That was the case in New York on Monday night, as Allen’s three interceptions and lost fumble contributed to Buffalo’s 22-16 overtime loss to the Jets after.
The scene was similar to the Bills’ last game in New York against the Jets, a 29-17 setback last November 6 that saw Allen turn the ball over four times.
“Trying to force the ball,” Allen said, via NFL Media. “Same s–t, same place, different day. … It’s a good defense we played, but we can’t play two guys. Can’t play them and us. And I played us tonight.”
Like all gunslingers, what makes them dangerous to their own cause is also part of what has made them great players. Brett Favre, perhaps the greatest gunslinger of them all, made a career out of attempting plays that led to results ranging from miraculous to disastrous. Favre won a ring, proving that a gunslinger can win it all. But he also lost a Super Bowl (turning the ball over twice in Green Bay’s Super Bowl loss to Denver) and three conference title games that included some bad turnovers from the Hall of Fame quarterback.
Mike Holmgren was able to help Favre harness some of his recklessness. Bills coach Sean McDermott said after Monday night’s loss said that Allen’s issues turning the ball over isn’t something his quarterback isn’t aware of. Allen has committed more turnovers than any other player since 2018. He’s also scored more total touchdowns that anyone in the NFL over that same span.
“He knows, he knows he can play better,” McDermott said. “I know he’s capable of playing better. He’s capable of playing smarter as well, and he’s got to do that for us, to number one stay healthy and then number two, to take care of the football. He’s more than capable of doing that.”
MADNESS AT METLIFE. JETS BALL!!!#BUFvsNYJ on ESPN pic.twitter.com/0cL8h8vhXx
— New York Jets (@nyjets)
The issue with Monday night’s loss was that it came against a wounded Jets team that was without Rodgers, who left the game early in the first quarter with an ankle injury. The Bills led 13-3 entering the fourth quarter before needing some last-minute heroics from Allen to force overtime. Buffalo’s offense did nothing in overtime, however, which led to Xavier Gipson’s game-winning, 65-yard punt return for a score.
Of the Jets’ 22 points, 13 of them came after Allen turnovers.
“I hurt our team tonight. I cost our team tonight,” Allen said. “This feels eerily similar to last year, and I hate that it’s the same, I do … 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 we lost tonight.”
Fortunately for Buffalo, it has 16 more games to right the ship. That’s what Allen intends to do, starting with the the Bills’ home game this Sunday against the Raiders.
“Yeah, it’s not like I’m going out there and trying to throw interceptions,” Allen said. “I guess we’ll find out on tape, try to correct it and got to correct it fast. We’ve got a short week and can’t let this game turn into two.”
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