The Buffalo Bills‘ matchup against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, November 13 turned out to be one of the wildest and most gut-wrenching regular-season losses in recent memory. While the Bills did have quarterback Josh Allen starting after his status was up in the air all week, it was his costly mistakes that ultimately led to Buffalo’s 33-30 loss in overtime.
Allen fumbled the ball late in the fourth quarter which turned into a surprise touchdown for the Vikings, giving Minnesota a three-point lead with 41 seconds left. While Bills’ kicker Tyler Bass’ 29-yard field goal sent the game into overtime, and Buffalo’s defense kept Minnesota’s offense to a field goal during their first possession, Allen’s final red-zone pass, which appeared to be intended for Gabe Davis, was easily intercepted by Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson and the game was over.
Allen didn’t shy away from taking full blame for the loss during his postgame press conference, nor did he use his sprained elbow as an excuse for his performance. “Four turnovers today, three were by me. Losing sucks. That’s just what it is. You hate to lose, especially that way.”
“Horrendous second half. I’ve got to be better.” he added. As for his fumbled exchange with center Mitch Morse on his own 1-yard line, “It’s on me. That can’t happen.” In regards to that game-sealing interception overtime, which marked Peterson’s second pick of the day, “Bad ball. Bad decision,” Allen noted.
The Bills are now 6-3 on the season and sitting in third place in the AFC East, a position once thought to be unthinkable a few weeks ago. As for how the Bills can turn things around, Allen once again put the onus on himself. “It comes down to my shoulders and my shoulders only,” he said.
WKBW’s Matthew Bové tweeted, “Just an observation, but this is about as frustrated as I’ve ever seen Josh Allen in a postgame interview. The Chiefs loss last year was on zoom postgame, so that doesn’t count. But in person, he looks shocked and crushed.” 13 WHAM‘s Dan Fetes shared a similar sentiment and tweeted, “That was the most visibly upset I have ever seen Josh Allen after a loss.”
Allen’s Second-Half Performances Have Become a Major Concern
While Allen appeared to be a shoo-in to win this year’s MVP throughout the first part of the season, those odds are quickly dropping. While he starts games strong, Allen can’t seem to keep the momentum going in the second half. Over the past three games, after halftime, Allen has thrown 5 interceptions. PFF‘s Ari Meirov pointed out that Allen’ hasn’t scored a touchdown in the second half since Week 6 against the Chiefs.
Syracuse.com’s Matt Parrino tweeted, “He’s thrown just one touchdown in the last 2 games. Bills struggled for a stretch last season and figured it out. But right now, there seems to be something off with offense and the QB.”
SB Nation‘s Bruce Nolan says this mid-season slum has become routine for Allen. “Three games is a trend. Josh Allen is in the middle of a frustrating trend.” Nolan added that Allen’s issues were “not panic mistakes” but “stupid ones.”
NFL analysts across the league were highly critical of Allen following the Bills’ second consecutive loss during which there were ample opportunities to win. USA Today’s Bradley Gelber tweeted, “The #Bills deserved to lose that one no question about it. Three games in a row where they tried to give it away and were successful in two of them. So many chances to get it done.”
Skip Bayless tweeted, “Unbelievable: Josh Allen twice gives this game back to Kirk Cousins, with an end zone fumble and an interception thrown into the end zone. I’ve never been quite sold on him.”
Fox Sports 1 host and perennial Bills hater Nick Wright loved seeing Allen fail against the Vikings. Wright tweeted, “What Josh Allen turnover was your favorite? The pick in the endzone in the 4th quarter up 10? The fumbled snap to steal a victory from his team? Or, the inevitable pick in the end zone to lose the game??? They’re all just so much fun!”
Bills Head Coach & His Teammates Standy By Allen
While Allen appears to be in a slump, it’s hard to imagine the explosiveness we saw in the first six games of the season won’t soon return. After the game, Allen’s coach and teammates did not hesitate in expressing their confidence in Allen both as a player and a leader.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott said of his starter, “I believe in him. He’s a special person. Better days ahead. This is life in the NFL.”
Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs knows Allen will bounce back. The two-time Pro Bowler, who caught 12 receptions for 128 yards against the Vikings, said of Allen, “He’s going to hate it for 24 hours, but I’ve got his back.”