Interim offensive coordinator appears to be putting Allen in better situations, asking him to take more underneath throws and protect the football while mixing in plenty of runs.
The Bills have scored 10 points off two Jets turnovers, an interception by quarterback Zach Wilson and earlier — as in the first play by Week 1 walk-off hero, by wide receiver Xavier Gibson.
Fullback Reggie Gilliam forcing the fumble was a huge tone setter, and a perfect bit of revenge against the same player who sent Buffalo back to Orchard Park, NY 0-1 to begin the 2023 NFL season.
The bulk of today’s first half has been all Bills, who lead in time of possession, offensive yards in every category, and, most importantly — Buffalo hasn’t turned the ball over, despite a couple risky fumbles that the Bills managed to re-gain.
In terms of those catching passes from Josh Allen, tight end Dalton Kincaid continues to dominate when targeted. The same cannot be said of wide receivers Stefon Diggs or Gabe Davis. For Davis, it appears to be a lack of looks — who hasn’t even been credited with so much as a look through 30 minutes of football. As for Diggs, his focus and ability to otherwise catch footballs has been challenged through a half while going against cornerback Sauce Gardner more often than not. But Diggs is often able to still catch plenty of looks. At the half, Diggs has caught one of four passes for four yards.
The Jets came to life at the end of the half, obliterating their prior total yards of less than 20 in 28 minutes. An expertly played fake punt caught Buffalo’s special teams unit napping (sigh, once again). Then an untimely penalty by defensive tackle extended the Jets’ drive.
Once again, injuries continue to be a concerning trend for these Buffalo Bills defenders. It’s become all-too-common seeing ambulances on the field called to carry away a members of the Bills. Early on, safety Taylor Rapp suffered a reported injury, but returned to play. Then, inside the two-minute warning, both Rapp and nickel cornerback Taron Johnson were injured on the same play. For Johnson, he walked off and headed straight for the locker room. Rapp, unfortunately needed to be placed on a backboard and in an ambulance —though sideline reporter Tracey Wolfson reported coming out of the half that Rapp didn’t head to the hospital, and remains at the stadium.
Following the somber moment, the Jets eventually broke their TD drought on a TD catch and run by running back Breece Hall. The Bills got the ball back, looking to take advantage of the double dip. Instead, the offense was left with a last-second Hail Mary attempt that unfortunately served to further the narrative about Allen’s interceptions. While most instances of such interceptions don’t lead to dramatic run back, this one did. And Buffalo was lucky the Jets didn’t find another TD on defense to close the half.
Still, the interception Allen threw at the close of the second was vastly different than the type of forced pass that’s seen him get in trouble earlier this season. Hopefully, the Jets’ inspired play to end the half doesn’t carry over to additional aggressive calls, especially as it relates to a second-half kickoff.
Here’s your second-half thread to enjoy the rest of today’s game. Hopefully we’re all celebrating a much-needed AFC / East victory within the next couple of hours. As always, civility