Tuesday Night Football was as weird as Josh Allen’s stat line in 2020.
Name a player more talked about in the NFL for 2020 than Josh Allen?
The Bills third-year quarterback started his career off with question marks and concerns about his overall skillset with the long ball and accuracy. Four games into 2020, Allen has become a sensation for the AFC East franchise, tossing three 300-plus yard games, 12 touchdowns, and one interception on the way to a 4-0 start.
Tuesday Night Football sounds weird, but it brought the 6-foot-5 pocket-passer back down to our level. With 16 days of rest for the Tennessee Titans, Allen was tasked with facing a team looking to earn back respect without catching heat (among other things).
Needless to say, Tennessee’s long vacation away from the gridiron had them well-rested to sing their sweet tune on the way to a 42-16 victory in the Music City.
A struggle outing for Allen shouldn’t worry Bills fans yet
Allen, who spent the offseason working on his mechanics to improve his completion rate, reverted back to the flimsy gunslinger shooting erratic. Going 26-of-41 for 263 yards, the Bills quarterback saw season lows in completion percentage (63.4%), passing yards, yards per pass. (6.4), and QBR rating (77.6). Sometimes you can blame the offensive line, but Buffalo allowed only one sack of a loss a 10 all evening.
While connecting twice in the end zone, he did the same against defenders. One the opening drive, the 24-year-old tried to find Andre Roberts but instead saw his pass bounce off his chest and into the arms of Malcolm Butler. That would lead to a Titans touchdown two plays later.
The second one however definitely gave the haters credit that Allen is a product of Brian Daboll’s system pretending to be a franchise guy. In zone coverage, Allen looked over the top for rookie Gabriel Davis, but the ball lost juice and was picked by Butler again. This would lead to another Tannehill touchdown to Jonnu Smith, giving Tennessee a 28-10 lead.
Throws like the second were found across the field on Saturday night. Multiple times, Allen either rushed his pass that would soar too long or dribble a pass just near his target’s feet. From rushed throws to feeble footwork, Allen looks lost and slowly saw his near-flawless start strike Midnight.
Allen’s bound to make mistakes still as a young quarterback, and with over two weeks off, the Titans wanted to feast. On most nights, 263 yards and a pair of touchdowns could get the job done. However, there’s a Buffalo-sized problem in the room no one has mentioned.
Where was the defense?
Without Tre’Davious White in the lineup, the Bills allowed three touchdowns off just 198 yards to a rebounded Ryan Tannehill. Leslie Fraizer’s unit as a whole, allowing 5.4 yards per gun, including another 42 to Tannehill in the open field. And if you really wanted to describe the game in five words or less, Derrick Henry’s stiff arm on Josh Norman says it all.
Get. Us. Out. Of. Here.
But again, back to Allen. Tuesday’s loss was the first game since Week 4 of 2019 in which the emerging quarterback suffered a multi-interception game. Throws like ones on the outside to Davis should be ones easily made while others, including a deep pass to Stefon Diggs in double coverage, well those are just a crapshoot.
There were positives for the Bills third-year pro. Of the 17 third-down attempts, 13 were converted. Allen showed his ability to still place perfect spirals deep, connecting five times on passes longer than 14 yards through the air. So ultimately, the monster formed in Dr. Daboll’s Laboratory is arriving right on schedule.
Allen plays the most vital position in the league, so he’ll be taking the slackest. That’s not entirely his fault. With a limited run game, an underachieving secondary and holes on both sides, it’s easy to blame the quarterback for one or two bad throws.
If Bills fans are starting to worry, so be it. If it’s because of Allen’s outing Tuesday, think again. One game won’t define a season, but if so, even a struggle outing for No.17 doesn’t make him the No.1 problem for Bills Mafia.