McDermott on Allen: ‘Let’s recognize the work this young man has put in, and the growth that he has shown’

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.

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Bills’ Allen: ‘I’ve got to lead this team’

   The Buffalo Bills(10-6) are back in the playoffs, and the man that led the way is QB Josh Allen. The second-year quarterback and the Bills will travel to Houston on Saturday to face DeShaun Watson and the Texans(10-6).

The Bills are in the playoffs for the second time in three years, but for Allen, who led all quarterbacks with nine rushing touchdowns in 2019, this will be his first taste of playoff action.

“I think everybody knows what we’re playing for, both sides included, it’s win or go home,” Allen said on Tuesday. “It’s the playoffs, it’s what we wanted, what we worked for.  Now we gotta go out there and play a game on Saturday.”

The last time Allen played the Texans in Houston, he left the game early with an elbow injury. Allen, who was a rookie at the time, felt that situation helped him grow as a player.

“Obviously going through that game there’s not great memories,” Allen explained.  “No one likes getting hurt, but having the opportunity to have Derek [Anderson] and Matt [Barkley] come in, learning from those two guys, it was a blessing in disguise. But having that experience of playing there, seeing a familiar stadium — the crowd’s going to be hyped up a little more being a playoff game, but kind of having a feel for that is experience we can take into that game.”

Fortunately for Allen, he will be backed by an outstanding Bills’ defense. Buffalo ranked second in total defense and second in points allowed, so Allen does not have to do it all for the Bills to be successful against Houston. However, Allen, who set career-highs in passing yards(3089), touchdown passes(20), completion percentage(58.8), and passer rating(85.3) this season, believes he has to lead the way for the Bills.

“I don’t have to be the best quarterback out there, I have to be the best quarterback for this team to help us win a football game,” Allen said. “Regardless of the circumstances that may go on during the game, I’ve got to lead this team and be able to find a way.”

Allen believes the Bills, as a team, will do everything in their power to move onto the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

“I can tell you this, we have a bunch of guys that play for each other,” he said. “We want to win, we don’t want to go home, and we’ve got a bunch of guys that are willing to fight for each other. I love this team, I love this squad, and we’re going to try and do everything in our power to extend our season.”

Bills’ Josh Allen discusses what he learned from playing against Patriots

While the Buffalo Bills are officially in the playoffs and have had a lot of success in 2019, this is still a reasonably young football team, especially at the quarterback position with second-year QB Josh Allen.

The 23-year-old Allen continues to grow and learn what it takes to be a good quarterback in the NFL, and it’s plain to see that he is making progress. After a slow start in 2019, Allen has thrown 15 touchdowns with only two interceptions in the last ten games. Furthermore, he has the best touchdown to interception ratio(8:0) in the fourth quarter in the league this season.

Last week, the Bills traveled to Foxboro to battle the Patriots, and anytime you face Bill Belichick and the Patriots, it’s not easy, especially for a young quarterback, and last Saturday night in their 24-17 loss to New England, Allen struggled at times but had Buffalo deep in Patriots’ territory late in the contest with an opportunity to tie the game up, but Buffalo would turn the ball over on downs.

On Tuesday, Allen talked about the things he learned from playing the Patriots last Saturday night.

“Just understanding certain types of pressures and what they are trying to do when they bring certain guys,” Allen said. “They looped their linemen, but I felt like I saw things pretty well. We went back and watched the tape, and obviously finding some completions early on and getting off to a hot start would have helped us out tremendously.

“That first and goal situation with a couple minutes left, we learned a lot there and what we can do and what we can’t do. Just more in-game experience that we are going to learn from, and I’m thankful that I got to be in that operation and had the opportunity to have that, but those are ones we have to have.”

The Bills played the Patriots tough in 2019 but lost both times to New England. However, losing tough games to good football teams is apart of the process of getting to the next level, which based on what we have seen in 2019, might not be too far away for Allen and the Buffalo Bills. 

Week 15: Bills-Steelers flexed to Sunday Night Football

The NFL announced today scheduling changes for Week 15 on Sunday, December 15.

Buffalo at Pittsburgh has moved from 1:00 PM ET on CBS to 8:20 PM ET on NBC. Minnesota at Los Angeles Chargers has moved from 8:20 PM ET on NBC to 4:05 PM ET on CBS.

The following is the updated Week 15 schedule (all times ET):

Thursday, December 12, 2019

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens

8:20 PM

FOX/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

1:00 PM

FOX

New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals

1:00 PM

CBS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

1:00 PM

FOX

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

1:00 PM

FOX

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

1:00 PM

CBS

Miami Dolphins at New York Giants

1:00 PM

CBS

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

1:00 PM

CBS

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

1:00 PM

FOX

Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals

4:05 PM

CBS

Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers

4:05 PM

CBS

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders

4:05 PM

CBS

Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys

4:25 PM

FOX

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers

4:25 PM

FOX

Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers

8:20 PM

NBC

Monday, December 16, 2019

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints

8:15 PM

ESPN

Bills’ Allen on Cowboys: ‘Our defense is going to have their hands full, so we have to do our part on offense’

The Buffalo Bills’ offense seems to be peaking at the right time. In their previous two games against Miami and Denver, Buffalo is averaging over 28 points per game and 424 yards of total offense. Their QB Josh Allen is playing well, and the running game has been very effective. The Bills had 168 yards on the ground against the Dolphins, and 244 yards rushing against the Broncos on Sunday.

On Thursday, the Bills travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and while the Cowboys’ offense struggled against the Patriots last Sunday, they have a lot of weapons, including QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, and WR Amari Cooper. With those weapons, the Bills’ offense may have to put up a good amount of points against Dallas.

“Obviously, they have some really good pieces on the offense over there,” Bills QB Josh Allen said on Tuesday. “I know Dak [Prescott] is playing extremely well, and they have a couple of receivers. They have the running back there too that’s an All-Pro guy. Our defense is going to have their hands full, so we have to do our part on offense. It’s a complimentary football game. We all have to execute in all three phases of the game.”

This is a big game for the Bills(8-3) for many reasons. Currently, Buffalo is the fifth-seeded team in the AFC, which is two games ahead of the sixth-seeded Steelers. A win against the Cowboys would put them in a good spot in terms of making the playoffs. Also, it’s a nationally televised game; however, according to Allen, he is not going to treat this game any differently.

“I don’t really think it’s different from any other game that we’ve played,” Allen said. “I really don’t know the logistics of what makes it a prime-time game or whatever. We’re going out there, and we’re playing football how we know how to play. I’m going to trust the game plan that we put in, and just try to play like we’ve been playing the last few weeks.

“They’re a tough defense, and they’re going to be doing some things that we have to look at and continue to game plan for. We’ll have to make some in-game adjustments, no doubt. It’s going to be a four-quarter battle with these guys, and we just have to stay on track and go out there and execute as best we can.”

Defeating the Cowboys on Thursday won’t be easy, especially with Dallas coming off a loss. Allen and the Bills will have their hands full, but based on the way the offense is playing right now, Buffalo might have the confidence to get it done. 

 

Bills’ Allen: ‘I think you need to get at least 10 wins to get into the playoffs’

With six games left, the Buffalo Bills have put themselves in an excellent position to make the playoffs this season, and after defeating the Dolphins 37-20 last Sunday, the Bills are 7-3, which would put them in the playoffs if the season ended today.

The Bills’ offense woke up last Sunday, and on Wednesday, Bills QB Josh Allen was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. Allen accounted for four touchdowns against Miami, and the team scored a season-high 37 points.

The success that Buffalo had on offense against the Dolphins is something that Allen believes can continue.

“I definitely don’t think it’s just a one-time thing how we played this weekend,” Allen said on Wednesday. “We’ve got a good sense of who we are as a team. I think we really kind of found our identities as an offense. We’re gonna continue to roll with what we’ve been doing. At the end of the day, it comes down to 11 vs. 11 on the field. Coach Bohl, my college coach, would say, “it’s a man whip man game.” How physical we are, how bad we want it, versus how bad they want it, and it’s what it comes down to. We got to go out there; we got to take it. The rest of the schedule, nothing’s gonna be handed to us. We gotta go try to find some wins.”

On Sunday, the Bills have an excellent chance to move to 8-3 when they host the Denver Broncos(3-7). According to Allen, Buffalo needs at least 10 wins to get to the postseason. 

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, I think you need to get at least 10 wins to get into the playoffs,” Allen said. “We’re sitting at seven. Not really sure how many games we have left. I can do the math in my head. I can (laughs). I know we got six or seven games left, whatever it is. We got to win some more games to kind of get in there. 

‘Whether we have an opportunity to make the playoffs, I think we’ve got a good opportunity in front of us right now. But guys aren’t looking forward, we’re not talking about it, we’re taking it one week at a time, trying to win a football game this week.”

Winning 10 games is very doable for the Bills. Nothing is guaranteed against the Broncos, but Buffalo probably beats Denver on Sunday. So, based on what Allen said, the Bills need to win two of their final five games(@ Cowboys, Ravens, @ Steelers, @ Patriots, Jets) to get to 10, which they should be able to do when you consider that two out of their final five games are against the Steelers and Jets.  

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), the Bills have a 63.4% chance to make the playoffs, so if things continue to go their way, expect Buffalo to slide into the playoffs in 2019.

 

Bills’ McDermott on Josh Allen: ‘Got a lot of confidence in that young man’

Coming into their game against the Miami Dolphins, many were questioning second-year quarterback Josh Allen. However, on Sunday, Allen answered some of those questions. Allen completed 21 of 33 passes for 256 yards and tied a career-high with three touchdowns passes, and he ran for 56 yards and another score, as the Bills defeated the Dolphins 37-20.

“I think he showed his personality, honestly,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said on Monday. “He’s a highly competitive young man. Got a lot of confidence in that young man. He competes at a high level, whether he’s having a one of his best days or he’s not.

“And, yesterday I thought was one of his better days and he’s only going to get better. Much like Tremaine [Edmunds], just in the middle part of his second year with a lot of reps under his belt but also, still young and still learning the game. I just thought overall, great team effort and all the guys I thought really just they showed their true personality yesterday.”

The 37 points the Bills scored against the Dolphins was a season-high for the team, and while Allen has had some issues in 2019, especially with the deep ball, Bills OC Brian Daboll sees a player that competes week in and week out.

“I think Josh is a good football player,” Daboll said. “He’s a good leader. He’s a good leader for our offense. He’s a good leader for our team, puts in a ton of work, has respect of his teammates, and goes out there every week and competes his tail off.”

This was a game the Bills were supposed to win, and they have done that all season long. At 7-3, Buffalo is off to its best start after ten games since 1999, so whether it’s against a good team or bad team, a win is a win, which is good news for the Buffalo Bills. Next up? The 3-7 Denver Broncos, who the Bills should beat. 

Bills’ Allen: ‘I know I’m nowhere near where I need to be, nowhere near where I want to be’

At 6-3, the Buffalo Bills, if the season ended today, would be in the playoffs, which would lead to happy times in Buffalo. However, the Bills have lost two out of their last three games, including last week’s 19-16 loss to the Browns. While Buffalo is in a good spot in terms of the playoffs, things are not all good.  

Currently, the Bills have the number three ranked defense in the NFL. However, offensively, the Bills are struggling. The Bills rank 23rd in offense and 25th in scoring. Also, their second-year quarterback Josh Allen(1919 yards, 10 TDs, 7 INTs) has struggled as well. He is near the bottom in terms of starting quarterbacks in yards and touchdowns. Allen knows that he has to improve, and according to Allen, he is working hard to do just that.

“I’m looking to improve each and every day,” Allen said on Wednesday. “I think if you ask any quarterback in the league, they’d say the same thing, that they don’t want to become stagnant where they’re at, they’re always trying to look for ways to improve, and that’s no different for myself. Obviously, I know there’s a lot to work on. 

“I know I’m nowhere near where I need to be, nowhere near where I want to be. And, where I want to be is higher than where I need to be. I hold myself to a very high standard, and I’m going to continue to work hard, and my goal is to get where I want to be.”

In fairness to Allen, he is a second-year quarterback, so there will be growing pains, and outside of Lamar Jackson, none of the other quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft have not been much better. Allen is a tremendous runner, but for the Bills to get to the playoffs, he has to improve as a passer. Buffalo has seven games left. Three of those games are very winnable(@ Dolphins, Jets, and Broncos), and the other four  will be tough(@ Cowboys, @ Patriots, @ Steelers, Ravens). The Bills have not beaten any team over .500, and to this point, Buffalo has feasted on bad teams. 

Are the Bills for real? We don’t have an answer yet, but to change the perception of this team, they have to beat a good team, and that starts with Allen and the Bills’ offense.

Eagles’ Schwartz on Allen: ‘He is running like a big man and running like a fullback’

After six games, the Buffalo Bills have proven that they are a pretty good football team. At 5-1, the Bills are behind the undefeated Patriots(7-0) for the top spot in the AFC East, and to Buffalo’s credit, they gave New England their toughest game of the season.

While the Bills’ defense has been leading the way for this team in 2019, they seemed to have found their franchise quarterback in Josh Allen, and although the second-year quarterback has not put up big numbers this season(1324 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs), he is doing enough to help Buffalo win games.

What he may lack in the passing game, Allen makes it up with his running ability, and last season as a rookie, Allen rushed for 631 yards and eight touchdowns.

Next Sunday, the Bills host the Philadelphia Eagles, and according to Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Allen is one of the better running quarterbacks in football.

“It’s not just his athleticism, it’s their willingness to run him on the football,” Schwartz said on Tuesday. “A lot gets made of the way [Panthers QB] Cam Newton played and the way that [Ravens QB] Lamar Jackson plays in Baltimore. Buffalo has sort of flown under the radar with that with a lot of designed quarterback runs. Stuff that looks like Wildcat, but he’s just running quarterback sweep, quarterback power, quarterback counter, quarterback draw, and he’s not sliding.

“He is running like a big man and running like a fullback, a lot of stuff that Cam Newton would do. They have all the RPOs. They have probably a more — complex really isn’t the best word I am looking for, but varied run game than any team we’ve faced. Some teams sort of take the approach of keep it simple, and we only do a couple things. These guys do an awful lot. They have powers, they have counters, they have stutters, they have zone runs, they have RPOs, they have jet sweeps, they have quarterback runs, and he’s a big part of those.

“And then you add into the equation his ability to extend plays and to run for first downs. I think that we have to be at our very best. It’s not just going to be covering guys. We have to play well in the run game, and then we also have to be good in our pass rush game to keep him from escaping or having step-up lanes and have guys in position to keep him from moving the chains.”

Allen is definitely a load. At 6’6, 237 pounds, he is not easy to tackle. However, if Allen really wants to make his mark in the league, he has to improve as a passer, which I think will come. For now, the Bills are 5-1, and judging by the way the Eagles have been playing of late, Buffalo has an excellent chance of moving to 6-1.

Allen on playing Pats: ‘We understand what this game kind of means to fans and people around the league’

It’s only Week 4 in the NFL, but it appears that the 3-0 Buffalo Bills could be for real, and while you may say Buffalo has defeated two 0-3 teams, it’s clear that there is a decent amount of talent on this roster. Statistically, the Bills are ranked in the top-10 on both offense and defense, and they seem to have a decent quarterback in Josh Allen.

However, all of that will be put to the test when the Bills battle the world champion and undefeated New England Patriots(3-0) in Buffalo on Sunday. The Patriots look like the best team in football. Obviously, there is Tom Brady, who at age 42, is still playing at an elite level. Additionally, the Patriots’ defense is playing at an elite level as well. After three weeks, the Patriots have the number one ranked defense in football, and only have allowed 17 points in three games.

Many believe this game will tell us a lot about the Bills, but according to Allen, it’s just another game for Buffalo.

“Well, I think every week, really is a measuring stick. And, you know, we’re not trying to approach this any differently than we would in the game,” Allen said on Wednesday. “It’s the most important game that we’re playing right now because it’s the next one. So we’re going in with that mindset. And, you know, we understand what this game kind of means to fans and people around the league, but in house, you know, we’re just trying to go 1-0 every week.

“Doesn’t matter who we’re playing. But we know that this team prepares well, you know, they’re 3-0 for a reason they got, you know, one of the greatest ever do it, you know, their quarterback position and head coach. So yeah, we got to be fundamentally sound, we got to understand what we’re trying to do, and really key on ways to try to, you know, get a job done on Sunday.”

Allen can try to downplay this game all he wants, but in reality, this game may not tell us everything about the Bills, but it will tell us something. At this point, we know that the AFC East is a two-team race, and we know that the Bills are better than last year. However, we will find out how much better they truly are after Sunday.