The Buffalo Bills started their game against the Baltimore Ravens with all the fanfare of a trombone soloist tripping and falling into a trash can beside the stage. Quarterback Josh Allen threw an interception on the third play from scrimmage, kickstarting a deluge of disappointment that had the Bills trailing 20-3 before they finished the half with a morale-boosting touchdown.
Buffalo, winning the coin toss for the first time this season, made the unusual choice to start the game on offense—something they never volunteered at any point in 2021. The move backfired when defensive end Calais Campbell tipped just enough of Allen’s throw to put it off-target to tight end Dawson Knox, who deflected it into the hands of Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters. Peters brought the ball back nearly to the end zone, and it was a matter of minutes before the Ravens had the first touchdown of the game.
The Buffalo offense has been nearly a total disappointment. Before their end-of-half drive, they’d only managed 63 total yards and an average gain of 3.3 yards per play. Bills running backs have five carries for 13 yards, and Devin Singletary lost a fumble on one of his carries in the second quarter. The Bills receivers have dropped more passes than you can count on one hand. To their credit, though, Allen and his teammates were able to hammer together an 11-play, 76-yard TD drive after their defense gifted them one more possession before halftime.
Buffalo’s defense has struggled to contain quarterback Lamar Jackson and Baltimore’s unique offense in the first half, but they’ve managed to punch in their weight class. Jackson has 131 yards and a touchdown, and running back J.K. Dobbins rushed for 41 yards and a TD on nine carries, but the Bills managed to sack Jackson twice and force two field goals and a punt in the first half.
Kicking off to the Ravens in the second half, the Bills have a lot of ground to make up if they want a prayer of winning this game. Here’s your open thread for the second-half discussion.