It was a series of mistakes and miscues that did in the Buffalo Bills against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Josh Allen has a few specific areas that he knows the offense needs to improve on for Sunday’s game.
The Bills came into the season opener favored to beat the Steelers and jumped out to a 10-0 lead at halftime, but saw the lead evaporate in the fourth quarter thanks to penalties, poor play calling and a blocked punt. Buffalo has the chance to rebound and assert its place in the AFC East against the Miami Dolphins, but Allen said they need to make some big changes.
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The Bills were plagued by penalties in the 23-16 loss to the Steelers, with many of them on the offensive side as Buffalo’s linemen often held Pittsburgh’s pass rushers. Even with the penalties, the Steelers were still able to dominate the line, pressuring Allen a total of 19 times and sacking him three times.
But it was a different kind of miscue that had Allen’s attention this week. He looked back to the missed chances for the offense, including a pass where he had wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders open deep but overthrew time.
“When teams like the Steelers, like the Dolphins give you an opportunity to hit one of those now you better do it because they’re not going to give you another opportunity to do so,” Allen said, via the team’s official website. “So, it’s just being smart with the football and taking advantage of the opportunities that are given. But ultimately, just trying to find completions and stay ahead of the sticks. That’s what we were really good at last year.”
Allen’s teammates agreed. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who led the Bills with nine catches for 69 yards, said the team needs to do a better job of seizing its opportunities.
“We just got to execute at a higher level,” Diggs said, via the team’s website. “We did some things well; we didn’t do some things well. When you watch the tape it’s never as bad as it seems and it’s never as good as it seems.”
Cutting Down on Mistakes
Bills head coach Sean McDermott has also stressed the need to cut down on the mistakes that racked up against the Steelers, including some of his own. On a 4th-and-1 play, the Bills made an ill-fated pass to Matt Breida deep in the backfield, a play that the Steelers snuffed out for a loss. Buffalo had been very successful running Allen forward on quarterback sneaks in 4th-and-short situations, but opted for a bit of trickery against the Steelers.
After the game, McDermott said that he had been outcoached by his counterpart and that he failed on the fourth-down call.
“I’ve got to do a better job of that too,” McDermott said.
Allen put pressure on himself as well but said he and the team are looking forward to the matchup with Miami.
“The execution of plays just wasn’t where it needed to be,” Allen told the team’s website. “It starts with me there. Again, we’ve learned from some things. We’re excited to get back out on the field and play some football again.”