The Buffalo Bills fell to 10-5 in a 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots. Here are some instant reactions to the frustrating loss.
The Buffalo Bills had a shot at the AFC East title but those hopes were dashed on Saturday as they fell 24-17 to the New England Patriots.
It was a tough battle, just as their earlier matchup this season was, but in the end, the Bills just didn’t have the offensive firepower to get the job done.
Here we look back at the game with these instant reactions to the frustrating loss.
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The offense needs to find consistency
Once again, the Bills offense struggled to move the ball with any consistency in this one. After being set up for their first field goal by the defense, they then had three-straight drives end with punts before finally scoring just before the half.
That touchdown was a short pass as Josh Allen hit Dion Dawkins, who reported as an eligible receiver, from one-yard out. However, it was set up by a deep pass as Allen hit Dawson Knox for a 34-yard gain. Originally his catch was called a touchdown but was overruled on review.
After the half, Buffalo again had to punt before scoring on a five-play drive which was capped off with a 53-yard touchdown pass to John Brown. At this point, they were up 17-10 but they didn’t get the ball moving much at all again until they were trailing 24-17 and facing a time crunch.
They were able to get it close, gaining 60-yards on 14 plays but it just wasn’t enough as they turned it over on downs.
The defense had some issues as well
Throughout this game, tackling was a major issue — which was quite surprising. Normally the Bills are very disciplined and don’t miss when they go for the takedown.
That wasn’t always the case in this one as New England continued to gain extra yards after the first defender would hit the ball carrier.
One of the worst times this happened was late in the fourth quarter when Rex Burkhead was hit in the backfield on a first-and-goal from the one but wasn’t taken down. Instead, he pushed his defender down and ran it in for the go-ahead score.
This isn’t to say the defense is to blame for the loss because they kept them in this game. Still, in order to knock off a team like the Pats, you can’t mess up on the fundamentals.
Josh Allen needs a mechanics coach
There were several plays in this game that were reminiscent of the problems Buffalo had against the Baltimore Ravens a couple of weeks ago. In that game, John Brown and Robert Foster both got deep and might have scored but Allen missed them as he overthrew the ball.
He did this again more than once, including an early overthrow when Dawson Knox was running free. He then missed Knox again on the final drive for what could have been the game-tying drive.
There were several more overthrows and Allen finished 13-of-26 passing on the day.
This is frustrating not only due to the fact that he’s leaving points on the board but also because he then connects on some beautiful passes. In this one, he hit Knox for a 34-yard play just before the half and then in the third quarter dropped a dime to John Brown for 53-yard touchdown.
The old cliche is that accuracy can’t be taught, but that’s not really true. Players can improve their accuracy by becoming better with their mechanics and that’s something Allen needs to work on.
In the offseason, Buffalo needs to get someone on the staff that can really help Allen clean things up.
He’s an incredibly talented young quarterback but he won’t reach his potential until he starts hitting the open receivers.