The first time the Buffalo Bills faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs this season the Bills lost by ten. A major factor was a Buffalo defense that sold out to stop the pass playing nickel the entire game. Not only did this result in getting run over by Kansas City, but Patrick Mahomes still had a really good day in the air despite relatively few attempts. But I digress. This was also Josh Allen’s worst game of the season. Kansas City didn’t run away with the game by any means. “Average 2020” Josh Allen might have come away with a win.
Yes it was raining. It might be raining Sunday too and Mahomes did just fine. Yes Allen was still nursing an injury. Yes it was the wacky schedule thanks to the Titans. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at Allen’s incompletions and see if there was anything beyond those factors.
I did notes a few times last season and attached them to the article. There seemed to be some enjoyment of this. So to review 13 plays, let’s return to the notes style of writing but rather than make you download it and read it, it’s the article this time.
Incomplete 1: Short right to Beasley, behind and low. Bease open and no real pressure. Would be tough catch. Decent mechanics, just off. Rain? Injury?
Incomplete 2: Too high and a bit behind to Brown crossing left. Some pressure up middle (KC rushed five, Singletary slowed but didn’t stop defender), slides left and feet aren’t perfect but not terrible.
Incomplete 3: 3rd-and-10 (two plays above were same series). Pressure up the middle and right (KC rushed six). Darryl Williams and Singletary had problems. Allen slides left and hits Brown near sideline. Ball bounced off face mask. Not easy catch as Brown was sliding but catchable.
Incomplete 4: Brian Winters beat, allowing pressure on four-man rush. Allen escapes right. Finds Tyler Kroft for short pass. Tight coverage but catchable. Dropped.
Incomplete 5: Flea-flicker. Pressure up middle. QB hit immediately after release. DPI initially called then picked up. Pass defended in end zone. Good coverage, did hold John Brown’s right arm down. Illegal contact at least. On target throw. Good break-up/DPI.
Incomplete 6: Pretty clean pocket. KC rushes six (two slight hesitation). Diggs open for TD. Overthrown.
Incomplete 7: KC rushes six with seventh in for contain. Allen throws while drifting back, overthrows Singletary for what could have been a TD.
Incomplete 8: Four-man rush collapses pocket on slow burn play. Throws from KC 45 to back of end zone. Hits Stefon Diggs’s fingertips. Just barely missed.
Incomplete 9: Play takes a bit of time to develop. Four-man rush springs free eventually, ball thrown away. KC had good coverage.
Incomplete 10: Five-man rush. Ball batted at line from collapsed pocket.
Incomplete 11: KC rushes five. Unblocked DB from Allen’s left flushes him from pocket. Dion Dawkins’ man breaks off too to contain Allen. Thrown away.
Incomplete 12: Clean pocket. Decent mechanics. Ball placed too far ahead for Beasley. Would have been easy first down.
Interception: Throws with pretty much all arm. Can’t step in due to pressure. Ball floats and thrown toward a very well-covered Cole Beasley. Intercepted.
Overall, Josh Allen really did have a bad day. A couple bad decisions. A couple bad throws with no real reason to have a bad throw. Kansas City also brought a lot of pressure and the not-yet-finalized offensive line also had a bad day. That made Allen’s bad day worse. Some instances of his receivers letting him down didn’t help Josh Allen’s day.
Interestingly, you’ll notice seven of the 13 incomplete/intercepted passes came in the first quarter. This trickled down to three in the second quarter, then two, then only one in the fourth quarter. The Bills scored ten of their points in the first quarter strangely enough, so they were able to overcome the early miscues to a degree.
As noted above the bad day extended to the defense as well. As the incomplete passes started to fade away, so did the Bills’ shot at the ball as Kansas City effectively kept it away by chewing up the clock. The good news for Bills fans is both sides of the ball should be improved over the versions that took the field earlier in the year.