How Josh Allen’s turnover woes impacted the Buffalo Bills in season-opening loss

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Josh Allen has committed more turnovers than any other quarterback since he entered the league in 2018.


It’s been an ongoing issue for Allen since Buffalo took him with the No. 7 pick of the 2018 draft.

He’s committed a league-worst 84 turnovers in 77 games. Detroit quarterback Jared Goff is second with 80. New Orleans’ Derek Carr (79), Tampa Bay’s Baker Mayfield (79), and Kirk Cousins (73) complete the top five.

The game has always been about turnovers. Turn the ball over, and it’s tough for teams to win. Teams that win the turnover battle team win 70 percent of the time. Teams that win the turnover margin by two or more win 83.9 percent of the time, and teams that win the turnover margin by three or more win 90.7 percent of the time.

Josh Allen: ‘I am the reason we lost’

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Josh Allen threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in Buffalo’s 22-16 overtime loss to the New York Jets on Monday. It marked the 19th time he’s thrown at least two interceptions in a game.

The Buffalo Bills are 6-13 in those games.

“Trying to force the ball. Same (expletive), same place, different day,” Allen told reporters after the game. “It’s a good defense we played, but we can’t play two guys. Can’t play them and us. And I played us tonight.

“I hurt our team tonight. I cost our team tonight. This feels eerily similar to last year, and I hate that it’s the same; I do … The effort was there. Our guys played so hard. Defense gave us opportunities. They played a heck of a game. It sucks when you feel like you’re the reason and I am the reason we lost tonight.”

So what does he do about it?

The first thing Allen must do is humble himself, which means taking fewer chances. Yes, he has a huge arm, and he can fit the ball into tight spots, but that doesn’t mean he should.

Every quarterback’s most important job is to protect the ball. He can do that by making better decisions.

Allen needs to spend more time studying video, or he needs to spend more time with offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey or quarterback Joe Brady. When he throws the ball right to defenders, like he did at least twice against the Jets, it makes you winder whether he’s adept at reading defenses.

How the running game can help Josh Allen

Finally, the Bills need a better running game to take pressure off Allen. Or maybe they need to be more committed to running the ball.

They ran it just 22 times in the game; they led by 10 at halftime and by a touchdown midway through the third quarter. James Cook led the team with 46 yards on 12 carries. Allen finished second with 36 yards on six carries.

Running the ball more should put Buffalo in more favorable down-and-distance situations, which should take some pressure off Allen. Perhaps, then he wouldn’t feel like he has to make every play.

He’s not Superman, but he rides to impersonate him.

“He knows, he knows he can play better,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said of Allen. “I know he’s capable of playing better. He’s capable of playing smarter as well, and he’s got to do that for us, to No. 1 stay healthy and then No. 2, to take care of the football. He’s more than capable of doing that.”

We’ll see.

Jean-Jacques Taylor is an NFL Insider for Sportsnaut and the author of the upcoming book “Coach Prime“, with Deion Sanders. Follow him on Twitter.

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