We’re back with Round 3 of the offensive giveaway series that reviews turnovers from the Buffalo Bills’ 2022 season. You can review previous segments of these articles below:
For this installment, we’ll review turnovers by the Bills from Week 10 through Week 16 in games against the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Chicago Bears. Stay tuned as Skarekrow puts an end to the offensive giveaways series with Part 4 coming soon.
Josh Allen’s first interception vs. Vikings — Week 10
This play had more to do with the Vikings playing outstanding defense than anything else. They ran a zone coverage at the goal line and seamlessly passed off the crossing routes over the middle. They even had a defender break off his coverage to contain Josh Allen as he scrambles. The corner that made the interception smartly realized that the receiver he was covering ran out of bounds (meaning that receiver can no longer catch the ball) so he came off that receiver to make an interception from underneath. It was fourth down and Josh Allen gave it a chance, but the Vikings played this perfectly.
Josh Allen’s fumble vs. Vikings — Week 10
This one hurts to watch again. We all know the story here, and it didn’t turn out well for the Bills. I’m not sure what went wrong in the snap exchange, but it couldn’t have ended any worse. My guess is that Allen was a little antsy backed up in his own end zone and didn’t fully secure the snap before starting to push forward.
Josh Allen’s second interception vs. Vikings — Week 10
The only good part about the Vikings recovering the last turnover in the end zone was that the Bills got the ball back quickly and were able to tie the game up to go to overtime. Unfortunately, this interception in overtime ended the game for the Bills. I see what Allen saw on this play, he just made a poor throw. Either that or Gabe Davis ran a different route than Allen was expecting. The two safeties for the Vikings bit up on the crossing route by Morris, which left space behind them for Allen to throw to Davis. For the route Gabe Davis was running, the ball needed to be thrown in the back half of the end zone, but Allen placed the ball at the goal line. This allowed the corner to undercut the route and make the interception. Maybe Davis was supposed to cut his route across the goal line and that’s why Allen threw the ball where he did. I guess we’ll never know.
Josh Allen’s interception vs. Lions — Week 12
This play had touchdown written all over it, and I’m sure Allen’s eyes lit up when he saw Stefon Diggs streaking wide open into the end zone. We’ve seen the Bills be successful on this RPO play numerous times this past season, even seeing the result in touchdowns (like Allen to Diggs against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2). An outstanding individual effort by the linebacker foiled the Bills’ touchdown plans.
Josh Allen’s fumble vs. Patriots — Week 13
The Patriots rushed three defenders on this play and still put immediate pressure on Allen. Granted, the Bills had reserve offensive lineman David Quessenberry holding down the left tackle spot, but protection still has to be better than this was for Buffalo.
Even with this quick pressure, Allen needs to have better ball security so this type of play ends up as only a sack instead of a fumble.
Josh Allen’s fumble vs. Dolphins — Week 15
The Bills offensive line provided adequate protection on this play. Right tackle Spencer Brown did get beat on a speed rush, but he directed the defender outside enough so that Allen could step up in the pocket.
In this situation, Allen’s internal clock had to be running out of time, so I would have liked to see him take the easy throw underneath. Instead, he took an extra half-second to throw the deep post route, and it results in him getting stripped of the ball.
Josh Allen’s interception vs. Bears — Week 16
Allen was beaten by the wind on this play. He had an opportunity for a possible touchdown if the ball ended up where he intended it, but with the windy conditions during this game in the Windy City, the ball just died on him.
On 2nd & 19 Allen tried to get the first down in one play, but he would have been better off throwing the ball to the short or intermediate routes over the middle and making it to third down.
Gabe Davis’ fumble vs. Bears — Week 16
I thoroughly enjoy watching defensive players punch the ball out to force a fumble, except when it’s against the Bills. Gabe Davis had the ball secured with three points of contact but he lost track of the defender behind him, who ultimately made a great play with a perfectly timed punch to cause the fumble.
Sadly, seven out of eight turnovers featured in this installment came by the hands of star quarterback Josh Allen. It’s no secret that Allen needs to button up the number of turnovers he surrenders, but some of these turnovers are a result of his aggressive play style, which also leads to some amazing plays. It’s a delicate balance between taking risks to make an improbable play and playing more conservatively to secure the football. Hopefully, more often than not Allen can toe this line and take more of a calculated-risk approach in 2023.