In the third quarter of the Bills’ 22-19 loss in OT to the Texans on Saturday, Buffalo was up 16-0, and at that point, many expected that the Bills would be moving onto the Divisional Round. However, mistakes happened, and Deshaun Watson started to make plays, including spinning away from a sack in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal.
Now, the Bills go into the offseason knowing they had a very good shot at winning a playoff game. Fortunately, for the Bills, their quarterback Josh Allen is still young and getting better. Therefore, they seemed to be set at the quarterback position, but Allen, who threw for 264 yards and rushed 92 yards and caught a touchdown pass against Houston, still has some work to do in the offseason.
“He’s made a tremendous amount of progress,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said about Allen on Tuesday. “Let’s start there. Let’s recognize the work this young man has put in and the growth that he has shown. Is there still work to do? Yes, and he’d be the first to tell you that is, in fact, the case. The game did not end the way we wanted it to end, and the reason is because we didn’t play well enough in the second half in particular. We scored field goals; we needed touchdowns.
“You look back and say hey, we were up 13 I believe it was after the half there, we have a takeaway and we had the chance to go up 20 to nothing at that point. Maybe the game changes at that point, or maybe it doesn’t. There are so many things that he can do better, and there are certainly things that I can do better and our entire football team. I think if you take the right approach, that’s being accountable and taking ownership and I know Josh did that, that’s really where it starts. With that, he’ll put the work in, and you know he will be better next season. I think you’ll see another step this offseason into next season.”
At times on Saturday, Allen tried to do too much. Whether it’s taking a bad sack late in the fourth quarter or trying to lateral the football in the open field, the second-year quarterback was just doing too much, something McDermott acknowledged on Tuesday.
“I think it all comes back to, for Josh, just trying to do too much,” McDermott said. “That’s been something we’ve talked about, and that’s something he has to continue to handle as he moves forward and continues to grow in his career, and I’m confident that he will do that. I think that’s the next step for Josh, is that awareness, maturity; however, you want to phrase it.
“It’s the understanding that I don’t have to do it all myself. I’m a tremendous generator and playmaker, but I have pieces around me. As we continue in all honesty, to build the roster, that’s what we have to do. We have to continue to give him pieces that he trusts in addition to the ones he already has.”
Allen got his first taste of playoff action, which should help him moving forward. While he contributed to the lost, Allen had his moments against the Texans, and in 2019, Allen set career-highs in passing yards, touchdown passes, completion percentage, and passer rating, so to McDermott’s point, Allen has made progress in 2019.