Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen relived a MetLife nightmare from 2022, tossing interceptions and costing his team a chance at a division win against the New York Jets.
“Trying to force the ball. Same (expletive), same place, different day,” Allen said following Monday night’s 22-16 overtime loss to the Jets.
Allen turned the ball over four times, including three interceptions, tying his career high. Three of the giveaways came in the second half, as the Bills squandered a 13-3 halftime lead.
The turnover trove echoed last November’s disaster for Allen against the Jets in which he threw two INTs, competed 52.94 percent of his passes for 205 yards and no touchdowns.
Allen has 17 career giveaways versus New York, his most against any opponent.
“It’s a good defense we played, but we can’t play two guys,” he said. “Can’t play them and us. And I played us tonight.”
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Allen forced all three passes into coverage. The first was essentially an arm punt. The second was a bone-headed decision deep to Stefon Diggs in double coverage the entire time. The final INT, Gabe Davis was never open toward the sideline. The fumble was simply Allen not being prepared for a hot snap and unable to corral the ball before trying to make something happen.
“I hurt our team tonight. I cost our team tonight,” he said, shouldering the blame. “This feels eerily similar to last year, and I hate that it’s the same, I do … The effort was there. Our guys played so hard. Defense gave us opportunities. They played a heck of a game. It sucks when you feel like you’re the reason, and I am the reason we lost tonight.”
Turnovers have characterized Allen’s career. His 84 giveaways lead the NFL since he was drafted in 2018. Some are a product of the big-armed QB trying to make a play. Some, like Monday night, are unforgivable for a veteran QB of his caliber.
“He knows, he knows he can play better,” coach Sean McDermott said. “I know he’s capable of playing better. He’s capable of playing smarter as well, and he’s got to do that for us, to number one stay healthy and then number two, to take care of the football. He’s more than capable of doing that.”
The Bills have a short week before hosting the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, giving Allen a chance to wash Monday night’s terrible taste out of his mouth.
“Yeah, it’s not like I’m going out there and trying to throw interceptions,” he said. “I guess we’ll find out on tape, try to correct it and got to correct it fast. We’ve got a short week and can’t let this game turn into two.”
It’s a long season, and getting a dud out of the way early could be beneficial for Allen and Buffalo — better than coming in January. The key is not letting it spiral. Allen and the Bills are too talented to let one game, as bad as it was, define their 2023 season.
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