ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen was short on apologies and promises on Wednesday in attempting to put behind lingering frustrations of his four-turnover dud that cost the Bills in a season-opening loss at the New York Jets two days earlier.
The only way the quarterback can prove he’s better is not through words, but rather by looking ahead and focusing on Buffalo’s home opener against the Las Vegas Raiders (1-0) on Sunday.
“As a quarterback in this league, the best ones are able to kind of put this behind them and take away lessons from it and not let it affect how they play the next game in a negative way,” Allen said. “I let it get away from me this last game and I’m not going to let it affect me going forward.”
And the sixth-year player wasn’t trying to be funny when noting this wasn’t the first time he’s thrown three interceptions in one outing, before adding it might also not be the last.
By identifying the aggressive tendencies that make him one of the NFL’s top dual threats as a passer and runner, and at the same time one of the league’s leaders in committing turnovers, Allen believes he can finally avoid putting himself and the team in difficult situations by understanding when to press and when to ease up.
“It’s a double-edged sword. I get away with it a lot of times, and sometimes I don’t and it hurts us,” he said. “That’s a learning process that takes a long time. And Year 6 in this league, I should know better when to do that. Now I got to go out there and prove that.”
One week into the season, and the three-time defending AFC East champions are attempting to avoid a crisis in confidence stemming from their franchise player unraveling in a 22-16 overtime loss on Monday night.
It was an outing in which Allen threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in a game Buffalo squandered a 13-3 halftime lead, and lost on Xavier Gipson scoring on a 65-yard punt return.
Allen’s turnover tendencies aren’t new with the quarterback once again leading the NFL in that category through Week 1, after leading the league with 19 (14 interceptions and five lost fumbles) last season.
Coach Sean McDermott placed faith in his quarterback in knowing Allen’s abilities to bounce back.
“Josh is extremely resilient. We’ve been through this experience before in terms of having to reset after a game like that,” McDermott said. “And that’s what I expect him to do fully.”
Since Allen’s second season in 2019, Buffalo is 12-4 when coming off a loss. And despite Allen’s rash of turnovers last season, the Bills finished 13-3, and were 10-3 in games Allen committed at least one turnover.
McDermott placed the emphasis on Allen finding a balance.
“At the end of the day, he’s got to do it, because I’m not the one out there running the ball or throwing the ball,” McDermott said. “I know he has that ability. I’ve seen him do it.”
Center Mitch Morse said the team maintains what he referred to as “the ultimate trust” in Allen.
“He’s on fire. He’s a professional,” Morse said. “And he’s already working on this next week and what he can do to tighten up.”
Allen acknowledged he may have been a little rusty after seeing limited action in Buffalo’s final two preseason outings. What’s also true is he’s adjusting to a new tweak to the offense, with the Bills incorporating more two-tight end formations with the addition of rookie Dalton Kincaid.
What’s also true is the Jets defense has provided Allen the most headaches. Allen’s only other four-turnover outing came in a 2019 season-opening 17-16 win in which he threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles.
In splitting two games with the Jets last season, Allen went a combined 34 of 61 for 352 yards with two touchdowns passing, two TDs rushing and two interceptions and was sacked eight times.
On Monday, he finished 29 of 41 for 236 yards with a touchdown and was sacked five times. One issue that led to Allen pressing was Buffalo’s difficulty to generate yards on first down.
Following the game, he sat glumly at the podium and placed the full brunt of the blame on his shoulders.
On Wednesday, Allen was already looking ahead.
“In the grand scheme of things, it’s one game and we’re not going to let it turn into two,” he said.
NOTES: The Bills held a brief walkthrough session with McDermott wanting to rest his players during a short week. ... Morse was the only player on Buffalo's injury list after hurting his finger on Monday night. He was projected to be a full participant in practice.
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John Wawrow, The Associated Press