The Buffalo Bills lost to the New York Jets on Sunday in a game that frequently felt like the Bills were very much in control. So what happened? And what can we learn from it? Here are my five observations from the game.
Josh Allen needs to take care of the ball
The Bills’ rookie is electric with the ball in his hand. You always feel like something could happen. Against the Jets, Allen lost two fumbles on the first two drives; one he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown and the other the Jets recovered and converted into three points. Also in the first half, Allen threw an inexcusable interception, against his body into the middle of the field in full-on hero mode. We don’t want to coach out the playmaker in Allen, but it’d be nice if he protected the ball a tad bit better.
Josh Allen is the Bills offense
It’s hard to fault Allen for thinking he needs to do it alone, though. The dude is the team’s leading rusher on the season. It’s his third straight game over 80 yards on the ground, which was the team record prior to Allen’s streak. He’s throwing rockets to convert third downs. He has completely changed Buffalo’s offense for the better and with some more playmakers a year from now, we could be looking at something pretty good.
Danny Crossman is living on borrowed time
All season, the Bills special teams have been suspect. In the last two weeks, they cost Buffalo a bunch of points. Two of the Jets’ first three scoring drives started with a long Jets kickoff return. The field goal attempt before halftime was blocked by New York and Buffalo missed another one. Last week, it was a muffed punt, missed field goal, and missed extra point. Crossman has been on staff with three different Bills head coaches but I’ve got a hard time thinking he’ll be here next year.
Man, the defense is good
Only 68 yards and four first downs allowed in the first half. The Jets didn't get over 200 net yards until the two-minute warning of the second half. But they seem to have a problem allowing scores on short fields, and Tre’Davious White had a rough game for the first time I can remember.
Injury concerns flood in
The Bills are down both of their top two running backs at the end of the game. They lost starting linebacker Matt Milano to a rough-looking injury. Without Russell Bodine, they lost some of their interior o-line depth and Jonathan Miller left the game on Sunday. They don't have several cornerbacks. At one point Sunday, Zay Jones was the only healthy wide receiver with any experience and tight end Charles Clay was being split out wide (and that’s with the Bills down to only two tight ends to start with). With the season over, you’re going to see a large amount of roster churn as guys with short and medium-term injuries get placed on injured reserve.