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Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen wonders if he should “think less and play football”

Allen turns to introspection while discussing his gridiron work

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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen had an inauspicious start to the 2023 NFL season, throwing three interceptions and fumbling once in front of a national audience during Monday Night Football. Allen’s struggles against the New York Jets in Week 1 immediately brought out the doubters — those quick to point out that Allen leads the league in turnovers (84) and hasn’t played back-to-back games without a turnover of some kind.

Most would say that Allen’s four-turnover performance at MetLife field was the result of him playing out of control, and relying too much on natural ability within the confines of backyard football arena.

In the three games following that performance, Allen played lights out during the team’s three-game winning streak

Allen’s totals from Week 2 through 4: 72-of-94 (76.8%) for 812 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT / 10 runs for 70 yards, 2 TDs , ZERO fumbles (and a pair of AFC Offensive Player of the Week awards)

It appeared as though offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey found a sweet spot in Allen’s game, utilizing a diverse attack that leveraged play-action calls to highlight Allen’s strengths while manipulating the middle of the defense. Then came Weeks 5 through 7, when Allen and the Bills offense seemed stuck in the mud, unable to generate meaningful offense until crunch time. That meant a 1-2 record and plenty of doubters about everything from Josh Allen, to the wide receivers, head coach Sean McDermott, Ken Dorsey, and Allen’s offseason and off-field focuses.

Allen’s totals from Week 5 through 7: 73-of-111 (65.6%) for 793 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs / 13 runs for 42 yards, 2 TDs, 1 fumble

Alex Brasky shared this week that, after losing to the New England Patriots in Week 7, Allen mentioned “‘After Wk2, I’ve been trying to find a zone throughout games, I feel I perform best that way. But maybe I need to let my emotions show more... If I can limit my energy and my heart rate I can think a little bit more. But maybe I need to think less and play football.’”

While Allen’s numbers are certainly better during the team’s three-game win streak early this season, it’s fair to say his numbers were decent in Weeks 5-7. But stats don’t tell the whole story, nor do they in this case properly illustrate the struggles by Allen. To most of Bills Mafia, it appears something’s been off with Allen ever since the team went to London. It should be of no surprise that Allen’s outwardly considering the idea of changing things up. He’s constantly working to improve his craft, and he’s one of the NFL’s fiercest competitors.

At some point, Allen was told that he didn’t need to do it all. It might also behoove those within his inner circle that the team’s current troubles aren’t all his to shoulder. Until then, it’s fair to wonder how much Allen will second-guess himself while the team tries to stay the course for what’s hopefully a successful run toward the playoffs. Hopefully, there’s far less to question after the clock reads double zeros late Thursday night.

(Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference)