The State of the Buffalo Bills is strange, to say the least. They’re 6-3 and in prime position to make the playoffs, yet the team seems to have a few flaws. The biggest may be the offense as a whole. This season it has felt like the offense has never really hit its stride. At points, it’s looked good, but at others, it’s been unwatchable. What’s been the offense’s biggest issue? Playcalling? Quarterback play? Execution? I believe the mentality of this offense needs to change, starting at the quarterback position. This week’s Thursday Thought: It’s time to let Josh Allen play his game.
Let me explain what I mean by “let Josh Allen play his game”. A big reason why the Bills drafted Allen was because of his aggressive and fearless mentality. No throw was too big for Allen and every yard mattered. Now it was well understood that Allen would need to tone it down a bit in the NFL as in college he was reckless at times instead of just fearless.
However, it feels like at this point in the season Allen isn’t playing his game. He’s protecting the football better than he did earlier in the season, but he’s not playing extremely well. The deep ball has been a problem all season for Allen. He’s misread a few plays, missing the correct reads, and overall doesn’t look incredibly comfortable.
I believe that this message of toning it down and protecting the ball has come from the coaching staff. What worries me about this, is that this is what happened to Tyrod Taylor. Say what you will about Taylor, but his first season in Buffalo was one of the best deep-ball throwers in the NFL. Yet, the message from the coaching staff was all about protecting the ball. Taylor turned into the check down king and never challenged defenses deep. This cannot happen to Allen.
I hope that now after Head Coach Sean McDermott said that he wants the offense to play, “fearless” hopefully this will change the mindset of all players and coaches on that side of the ball. Scoring below 20 points in a game consistently will not win games consistently. In today’s NFL, you have to be able to light up the scoreboard every once in a while. So far, nine games in, the Bills have scored more than 30 points in a game once. Keep in mind in that game it was against the Dolphins in which Micah Hyde returned an onside kick for a touchdown.
Something has to change, and I believe that it must start at the quarterback. Allen needs to play like Allen. Fearless, aggressive, and confident. If Allen can play with the swagger he’s played with in the past, along with avoiding the truly awful interceptions, this offense may be able to turn it around. Let’s hope that they do before it’s too late.
Mitch Broder is a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mitchell_broder