NFL

Bills’ Josh Allen on loss to Jets: It’s tough to win when ‘your quarterback plays like (expletive)’

Josh Allen’s no good, very bad day resulted in an upset loss for the Bills, who watched their AFC East lead shrink to a half-game.

Allen was the first to admit his failures against the Jets in the immediate aftermath.

“It’s tough to win in this league. We were playing a good team here, (and) your quarterback plays like s—,” Allen said. “Made some bad decisions tonight, really cost our team. A lot to learn from, a lot to grow from, but that’s not the standard we hold ourselves to. That’s not the ball that we play.”

Allen’s performance began as usual, driving the Bills into scoring range before an uncharacteristically ugly interception ended the opening possession. It seemed to be a mistake Allen would overcome, throwing for 143 yards and a 14-10 lead at halftime.

But in the second half, it only grew worse for Allen. While he did score Buffalo’s only two touchdowns on the ground, Allen completed just 5 of 12 pass attempts in the final two quarters, gaining 42 yards, and went without a passing touchdown in the entire game. He also appeared to suffer an elbow injury in the fourth quarter, although he told reporters afterward he’ll be fine.

The last mistake was the most costly. With the Bills clinging to a 14-10 lead, Allen threw perhaps the ugliest interception of his career to Jets rookie corner Sauce Gardner, setting up a possession that ended in a go-ahead New York touchdown.

On first glance, it appeared as if Allen had a miscommunication with his intended receiver Gabe Davis. After the game, though, Allen admitted it was nothing more than a “brain fart.”

“It’s hard to win the game when you turn the ball over,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said after the 20-17 loss. “We had opportunities and we shot ourselves in the foot.”

Allen went through a period of growth early in his career in which he tried to let his incredibly strong arm do too much of the work, sailing passes over the heads of his intended targets for interceptions. He turned the corner in the last few years, though, making performances like Sunday’s shocking to those who only know Allen as the superstar, rocket-armed signal-caller leading the NFL’s most explosive offense.

Despite the loss, it’s only one game. As offensive tackle Dion Dawkins said afterward, no one was born to be perfect. At 6-3, the Bills remain atop the AFC East, but by just one less loss than the 6-4 Jets.

McDermott and the rest of the Bills know they’ll have another chance against the Jets in December. And they’ll enter that home game with full faith and confidence in their quarterback.

“I have ultimate trust in Josh,” McDermott said. “He’s a heck of a football player, it’s important to him, so he knows that those are non-negotiables, those plays right there. It’s gonna happen from time to time just by percentages and times you throw, (but) overall it’s gotta improve.”

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