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All-22 analysis: Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s 2018 turnovers

A look at the cause of every one of Josh Allen’s turnovers in 2018

In the third installment of using the coaches’ film to review turnovers, we turn to the dark side of turnovers the Buffalo Bills were victims of. Kudos to JonR67 for the suggestion to take some of the lessons applied in the last turnover article and take a look at turnovers credited to Josh Allen. As we’ve been doing, we’ll examine causal factors for each turnover. In this case, we’ll dive in hoping to see if we should expect Josh Allen to improve.


Just like with the articles on forced fumbles and interceptions the Bills benefited from, I looked at every turnover of Josh Allen’s and attributed causal factors. There were some differences for this dive. We’re including both interceptions (twelve of them) and fumbles lost (two of these). Also, since we’re looking for ways Allen can improve—there is one interception where two separate factors were identified. Previously, I stuck with a single primary factor. Here are a few fun samples.

Play 1

I went back and forth a bit on what to call this one. I nearly called it a bad decision based on throwing to a covered receiver, but in the end one of the reasons Allen was supposed to be an exciting prospect was his arm strength. There’s absolutely room to get this ball over the top for a big gain but Allen doesn’t get it there. Feel free to call it something else, but I felt this was an underthrown pass.

Play 2

Here’s another one where I struggled. If Zay Jones was supposed to stick to the sideline it’s an inaccurate pass—probably another underthrown ball. But Jones seems to be cutting back in before it’s clear where the ball is going. As I was unable to definitively figure out what the route was supposed to be, this is labeled as a “bad decision” below. There are a few other things it could potentially be called.

Play 3

The only obvious example I have for you. I put this under the “hit” column below. It’s almost worth an interception to see Josh Allen carry a fairly large adult around like a child clinging to a leg.

The Results

Let’s get rid of those pesky fumbles first. Allen getting rocked pretty good by nose tackle Kenny Clark dislodged one ball. It’s hard to fault a guy for having one or two of those on occasion. While Allen was carrying the ball well that time, he has a habit of holding the ball out. The second lost fumble was an easy swipe because of how Allen carried the ball.

The only interception caused by being hit was the clip above where Allen carried around Melvin Ingram (listed at 247 pounds if you’re wondering).

In the four instances of Allen throwing interceptions under pressure, there wasn’t a major pattern. One of these throws was a Hail Mary to close the half and is basically a “no fault” interception. For the one where there’s also a tip from Andre Holmes marked, the pass was actually fairly on target. The ball was tipped by Holmes and there’s an argument to be made that the defender was there a touch early. That leaves two passes where pressure led to bad throws/decisions. The biggest surprise is that in two-thirds of his interceptions, Allen had an adequate or better pocket.

There is unfortunately a pattern in the final column, interceptions where Josh himself was the main issue. Three turnovers were a direct result of Allen failing to identify the coverage. Another interception was due to Allen throwing a ball to a very well-covered receiver. Another interception occurred when he was slow to throw the ball on a quick-timing pass—this one was also into tight double coverage.

First the bad news. Of his twelve interceptions, seven were the result of poor play by Josh Allen. That’s over half of his interceptions that didn’t have a component of pressure or tipped passes. The good news is that his turnovers were rarely due to a poor or wildly inaccurate throw. The only consistent issue is between his ears. Will Allen learn to adjust to NFL defenses and read the field better? I bet there’ll be a lot of crossed fingers in Western New York hoping that he will.