The Buffalo Bills starting offense put up a dud as they hosted Cincinnati on Sunday evening, and were outscored 20-0 in the first half of the game. While Marcus Murphy and Chris Ivory found daylight to run in, the passing game struggled immensely. Josh Allen completed 6 of 12 passes for 34 yards and lost essentially all of that yardage on five sacks. The negative plays, plus five penalties from the offense, killed every drive before it got going.
Allen shouldered the blame for his unit’s poor performance following the game.
“I didn’t do a good enough job getting the ball out on time and getting it to my playmakers. Holding onto the ball is not going to be too great, most of the time,” said Allen Sunday night.
Interior offensive lineman Ryan Groy, who spent time at each of the three interior positions with the first unit Sunday, took ownership of the failures and held it with the offensive line.
“It’s bad. I’ll take the first hit,” Groy commented. “It was embarrassing as a unit and I’ll take the first blame. As an o-line we need to get better and that was on us, 100 percent.”
Marshall Newhouse, who started at left tackle when Dion Dawkins couldn’t play, thought that Buffalo’s poor blocking combined with Allen’s rookie nerves in an unfortunate way.
“There was a lot getting thrown at him. I kept reminding him, ‘Hey man, next play. Move on. Keep grinding, whatever,’” said the veteran journeyman.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott spoke with the media Monday afternoon, and he noted that multiple variables mattered with Buffalo’s offensive failure.
“You know, it’s never one guy,” said McDermott. “There are a lot of hands in that cookie drawer where it’s ‘the ball’s got to come out on time.’ We’ve got to work in sync [with] the ball coming out on time, protection, running the right route. There’s a shared type of result when it comes to what you saw at times along the front.”
McDermott noted that the Bills intentionally shifted players on the line mid-game and dismissed that as a factor for Buffalo’s poor performance, saying that would just be an “excuse” for the situation.
The conversation wasn’t all regrets, though, as McDermott noted that he’d seen some positive strides from the rookie passer amid Sunday’s chaos:
“Overall, I know the numbers didn’t really show a great performance necessarily, but again, to the questions earlier, there are a lot of things that go into that as well. I did like his poise in the pocket to an extent. I thought he got us in and out of the huddle for the most part and managed some highs and lows of the game, most of which didn’t go our way early in the game, and that’s all part of playing that quarterback position and leading a football team.”
The Bills return to the football field on Thursday night after a short week of practice. They’ll close out their preseason against the Chicago Bears, hoping to pick up the production on offense before the regular season starts.