After falling just short of the Super Bowl last season, the Buffalo Bills came into this year with hopes of winning it all. Instead, the Bills find themselves sinking to the back of the playoff pack and locked in an unexpectedly tough fight for the division.
For Stephen A. Smith, it’s an unacceptable situation, especially after Buffalo committed big money to its quarterback before the season. The analyst sounded off on the Bills, saying on First Take that it’s “unacceptable” for Josh Allen and the offense to be struggling so much and for the team to allow the New England Patriots and rookie quarterback Mac Jones to slide into first place in the AFC East.
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Smith Blasts Bills
While Smith had plenty of good things to say about the Buffalo defense, he grew heated when discussing the struggles that Allen and the offense have encountered. Smith pointed specifically to the team’s 9-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a season low point.
“You’ve got a quarterback who all of us are very fond of in Josh Allen,” Smith said. “Six years, $258 million dollars, and you get your butt kicked. What the hell is going on?”
Smith went on to say that it’s “unacceptable” for the Bills to allow the rookie Jones to lead the Patriots into first place, saying the era of the Patriots dominating the Bills was supposed to have ended when Tom Brady left town.
“You know that the New England Patriots have owned you,” Smith said. “We hear the Patriots’ footsteps. They dominated us for two decades because of Tom Brady. And finally you get to the AFC Championship game, finally you’re relevant, finally you’ve got a quarterback like this — and you’re wetting the bed like this?”
Patriots, Bills Moving in Different Directions
While the red-hot Patriots have won five consecutive games to move a half-game ahead of Buffalo in the AFC East, the Bills have lost three of their last five games including the 9-6 loss to the Jaguars and Sunday’s 41-15 drubbing at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.
The Bills now have a short turnaround, traveling to New Orleans to play the Saints on Thanksgiving night. Bills head coach Sean McDermott said the short week is a chance to quickly move beyond Sunday’s blowout loss.
“There’s some bad to short turnarounds because you can’t really get back on the practice field for all that much time,” McDermott said. “Then there is some good to it so you can move on and move forward. I’m not really sure which one I like more, to be honest with you.”
Allen added that playing on a short week can come with its own challenges, though he has shined on the national stage on Thanksgiving before. The last time the Bills played on Thanksgiving in 2019, Allen threw for 231 yards and a touchdown and added another rushing touchdown in a 26-15 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
“We got to rely on each other, rely on our coaching staff, and rely on what they’re telling us,” the Bills quarterback said about this week’s game. “Try to put together a game plan again. We’ve played in a few Thursday nights since I’ve been here. These are the ones that that come up on you quick and you got to find the game plan as quickly as possible, and it really just comes down to execution.”