The Josh Allen experience continues to be a wild one.
Allen led the Buffalo Bills to a Week 1 victory, earning a divisional win over the New York Jets in a 27-10 final. But there were some tight moments in the second half for Allen and the Bills after a terrific start.
His final passing line was pretty darned respectable — 33-of-46 passing, 312 yards, two TDs and no interceptions — but Allen had a few shaky moments along the way against what looked like an overmatched Jets defense.
First, there was Allen’s first first-half fumble in which he tried to do a little too much. He had gained a first down on 3rd and 1 but lost the ball just outside the red zone on the Bills’ opening drive.
His second fumble came on an option run at the Jets’ 14-yard line in the final 90 seconds of the first half. The Bills were up 21-0 at the time, but they were able to convert that turnover into a last-second field goal before halftime.
Allen had a fairly strong first half throwing the ball, with the two fumbles the only real mars on his stat sheet. But in the second half, Allen was sacked three times and overthrew a wide-open John Brown in the end zone with no one around him.
The Bills settled for two second-half field goals and settled for the 10-point victory.
Buffalo was a popular sleeper team after its 2019 resurgence, building a strong roster and surrounding Allen with more weapons heading into the QB’s third season. And with Tom Brady out of New England, the feeling was that if there was ever a chance for the Bills to take the division crown, this would be the year.
How do we feel about that after one game?
Call it an incomplete grade.
A lot of that had to do with Allen’s rollercoaster game Sunday. His success is paramount for the Bills to take that proverbial next step.
After a very impressive first half by the Bills’ defense, that unit slipped up a few times against a Jets offense that looked mostly lost in the first 28-plus minutes. More work can be done on that side of the ball.
The run game — behind a reshuffled offensive line — was a mixed bag. Devin Singletary ran nine times for 30 yards, with a long run of 12. Rookie Zack Moss provided only 11 yards on nine carries. Allen really was the Bills’ run game, rushing 14 times for 57 yards and a first-half TD.
That was the part of his game Allen said the Bills might dial back this season a bit. But right now, the Bills might not want to throw that part of the playbook out yet, preservation of their franchise QB be damned.
We won’t make any grand, sweeping statements about Allen or the Bills yet. It’s Week 1. After a pandemic-shortened offseason. There’s a lot of football left, you know?
But Allen can not keep putting money into upstate New York cardiologists’ pockets by playing a wee bit more of a consistent brand of football going forward.
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