Allen’s turnover troubles beginning to sink Buffalo Bills

Nov 13, 2022, 10:28 PM | Updated: Nov 14, 2022, 1:20 pm
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen adjusts his helmet in the second half of an NFL football game ...

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen adjusts his helmet in the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

              Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) reaches for Buffalo Bills running back James Cook (28) as Cook hits the ground in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs tries to evade Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
            
              Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen adjusts his helmet in the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott applauds from the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs with the ball under pressure from Minnesota Vikings linebackers Eric Kendricks (54) and Patrick Jones II (91) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — If his injured throwing elbow is fine, as Josh Allen insisted following his and the Bills’ latest second-half meltdown, then it might be fair to suggest the issue with the quarterback’s recent rash of turnovers rests more between his ears.

Allen’s competitiveness is undeniable. And yet his stubbornness in choosing to shoulder too much of the offense is beginning to hurt his team.

Buffalo (6-3) has lost two straight and tumbled out of first place in the AFC and sits third in its division following a 33-30 overtime loss to Minnesota on Sunday in which Allen’s three turnovers (two interceptions and a lost fumble in his own end zone) contributed heavily to the Vikings overcoming a 17-point third-quarter deficit.

There Allen was, with his head down, conducting his postgame news conference by once again acknowledging he must be smarter with the ball.

“Horrendous second half. I gotta be better,” Allen lamented.

If it sounds familiar, it is, because Allen issued similar sentiments following his two previous outings.

After throwing two interceptions in a 20-17 loss at the New York Jets a week earlier, Allen said: “It’s tough to win in this league when you’re playing a good team and your quarterback plays like (expletive).”

Two weeks ago, after throwing two second-half interceptions in a 27-17 win over Green Bay, Allen said: “Can’t put our team in a situation where the only way that team gets back in it is by turning the ball over — and two stupid ones that I really had no business throwing.”

Perhaps, an intervention of sorts might be in order for Allen who in one month has gone from leading the NFL in yards passing and touchdowns passing entering Buffalo’s bye week, to entering Monday leading the league with 10 interceptions — six coming in his past three outings.

Sure, blame can be placed elsewhere for Buffalo’s midseason slump.

The defense has allowed a combined 529 yards rushing in its past three outings. An injury-depleted secondary was unable to contain Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, who had 10 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown.

Clock management is an issue, too. Up 27-23, the Bills ate up just 68 seconds of game time by attempting three passes (two of them incompletions) in giving the Vikings back the ball with 3:26 left in regulation.

And yet, much of the troubles go directly to Allen for attempting to do too much in forcing the ball when he shouldn’t be, and placing the burden on the defense to bail him out. The defense has actually held up in allowing just 47 points (six TDs, two field goals and a missed extra point) off Buffalo’s 18 giveaways.

Four of Allen’s past seven turnovers have come in the red zone.

His fumbled snap recovered by Minnesota’s Eric Kendricks for a touchdown came one play after Buffalo stopped Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins for no gain on fourth down at the half-yard line with 49 seconds left. And he closed overtime by slamming his helmet to the turf after being intercepted in the end zone on second down with Buffalo in position to at the very least come away with a tie.

Much of the Bills’ success the previous two seasons — consecutive AFC East titles and three playoff victories — can be attributed to Allen. It’s only fair, too, he shoulders the blame for what’s gone wrong of late.

Von Miller said there’s no reason to panic.

“It’s Week 10 and we’ve got seven games left. Hey, we’re not finished then,” the edge rusher said.

And yet, receiver Stefon Diggs cited one of Miller’s familiar mantras by raising a sliver of concern.

“Von always says don’t blink,” Diggs said. “And I feel like we might be blinking a little bit.”

WHAT’S WORKING

First-half scoring. The Bills have outscored their past three opponents before halftime by a combined 62-27.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Second-half scoring. The Bills have been outscored after halftime in their past three outings by a combined 43-12.

STOCK UP

S Jordan Poyer. If the veteran starter in the final year of his contract is making a point regarding his value to the defense by missing his second straight game with an elbow injury, he’s certainly succeeded. Buffalo is 1-3 when Poyer doesn’t play.

STOCK DOWN

Allen. In the second half and overtime of his past three outings, he’s combined to go 25 of 55 for 337 yards with five interceptions, one lost fumble and no TDs.

INJURIES

LB Tremaine Edmunds didn’t return after aggravating a groin injury. … WR Jake Kumerow (ankle) is considered week to week. … Coach Sean McDermott said Allen “came out of the game in a good spot,” in reference to the quarterback’s right elbow.

KEY NUMBER

4-3 — Buffalo’s record this season when tied or leading at the half.

NEXT STEPS

Two winnable games, perhaps, over a short week. After hosting the Cleveland Browns (3-6) on Sunday, Buffalo travels to play Detroit (3-6) on Thanksgiving Day.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

South Korea's Son Heung-min warms up during the South Korea's official training on the eve of the g...
Associated Press

Ghana readies for South Korea after opening World Cup loss

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Ghana coach Otto Addo has been impressed with Son Heung-min ever since he coached the South Korean forward at the youth level. The two will be reunited on Monday when Ghana meets South Korea in a World Cup Group H match at Qatar’s Education City Stadium. Atto was an working for […]
1 day ago
Mexico's Jesus Gallardo reacts at the end of the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina a...
Associated Press

Goalless Mexico on brink of World Cup elimination

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Mexico’s inability to score — or stop Lionel Messi — has put the team on the edge of missing the knockout stage at the World Cup for the first time since 1978. Mexico has gone without a World Cup goal for 384 minutes since their second group stage match at the […]
1 day ago
Serbia's Dusan Vlahovic, right, and Brazil's Thiago Silva, go for a header during the World Cup gro...
Associated Press

After 1st-round defeats, Cameroon, Serbia need World Cup win

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — After failing to score and losing their opening games, both Cameroon and Serbia need their strikers on target when they meet Monday at the World Cup. “The highest level is unforgiving,” Cameroon coach Rigobert Song said after his team’s opening 1-0 loss to Switzerland. “We no longer have any room for […]
1 day ago
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot his side's opening goal...
Associated Press

After latest milestone, Ronaldo eyes World Cup glory

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Another game, another personal milestone. For all the turmoil that has surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of what is likely to be his final World Cup, the Portugal great continues make his mark. On Thursday he became the first man to score in five World Cups. Earlier this season he registered the […]
1 day ago
A fan of Argentina reacts after Argentina's Lionel Messi scores his side's opening goal against Mex...
Associated Press

Argentina riding emotional rollercoaster at World Cup

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — As Lionel Messi struggled to hold back his tears, Pablo Aimar let them flow on the bench. Covering his hands with his face, Argentina’s assistant coach, the former player who Messi idolized as a child, was almost hyperventilating with emotion after the goal that kept alive the Albiceleste’s World Cup journey. […]
1 day ago
Stanford head coach David Shaw stands near the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college f...
Associated Press

Stanford coach David Shaw resigns after Cardinal finish 3-9

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford coach David Shaw resigned Saturday night after finishing his 12th season at his alma mater with a 36-25 loss to BYU that dropped the Cardinal to 3-9. Shaw, 50, led Stanford to five double-digit win seasons, with three Pac-12 titles and Rose Bowl appearances in his first six years as […]
1 day ago
Allen’s turnover troubles beginning to sink Buffalo Bills