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Josh Allen as much the problem as he is the answer in Buffalo Bills’ 2023 Super Bowl hopes

At times this season, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has been brilliant.

He’s a dual-threat weapon capable of throwing a perfect spiral 70 yards for a touchdown, or running over and through defenders for a touchdown. Sometimes, Allen uses his rushing skills to elude the pass rush and throw a touchdown pass that winds up on SportsCenter.

Related: Hated Buffalo Bills rival Tom Brady warns Josh Allen about how his running style is a detriment

That’s Good Josh.

That’s the dude who’s among the NFL’s best players. That’s the guy Buffalo signed to a six-year contract extension worth as much as $258 million in 2021. 

The problem, of course, is Buffalo hasn’t seen enough of Good Josh this season, and that’s a big reason why the Bills are 5-4, a game behind the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East.

The Bills are 2-3 in their last five games, in part, because Allen has been sporadic. In their 24-18 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday night, Allen passed for 258 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Allen has thrown an interception in five consecutive games.

“It stings, losing is never fun, losing sucks. One thing though, we’re not going to let this divide us,” Allen said after the game. “We’re going to come together and we’re going to figure it out. I have a lot of faith in the men in this locker room and the coaching staff and the guys around us. We’re going to figure it out.”

Since 2018, Allen has led the NFL with 91 turnovers in 86 games. Detroit’s Jared Goff is next with 85 and New Orleans’ Derek Carr is third with 84. Allen has 69 interceptions; Tampa Bay’s Baker Mayfield is second with 68.

Allen has 22 fumbles since 2018. Only six quarterbacks have more. The turnovers must cease for Buffalo to salvage this season.

Offense stifling Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl aspirations

josh allen
Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK

This was supposed to be Buffalo’s year. They’re 47-18 the past four seasons with three consecutive AFC East titles. They played in the AFC Championship game in 2020, but have lost in the division round each of the past two seasons.

The problem, this season, is the offense — and that starts with Allen. And it doesn’t matter whether you blame Allen, Bills coach Sean McDermott or play-caller Ken Dorsey. Remember, this team began the season with Super Bowl aspirations.

The stats look good. After all, Buffalo is tied for first in third-down conversions (50.0), third in yards per play (5.8), and fifth in total yards (370.2), passing yards (262.1) and points (26.7). 

In the last five games, though, the numbers haven’t translated into points. The 18 points Buffalo scored against the Bengals was their third-lowest total of the season.

“I get it. I understand everyone’s frustration,” McDermott said. “I absolutely do. We’re working extremely hard to make the adjustments we have to make. Ken is doing the same. So, I remain confident in Ken and our offensive staff, and we continue to work hard at improving.”

Against Cincinnati, Buffalo started the game with an up-tempo, no-huddle offense. They moved 85 yards in seven plays and tied the score at 7-7. On their next possession, Buffalo slowed down the tempo.

 They didn’t go up-tempo again until the last drive of the first half.

Figuring out how to maximize Allen’s talents and their offense is McDermott and Dorsey’s biggest task. They need to do it quickly because after games against Denver and the New York Jets, the schedule gets considerably more difficult. 

Related: Buffalo Bills sign former NFL star Leonard Fournette to practice squad

Buffalo will play Philadelphia, Kansas City, Dallas and the Los Angeles Chargers.

“We’ve won a lot of games here, and for good reason, right? So, we’ve got to continue to make the appropriate adjustments and put ourselves in position to win games,” McDermott said. “That’s what we’re here to do. That’s what we’ll continue doing.”

Jean-Jacques Taylor is the NFL Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter. He’s the author of Coach Prime: Deion Sanders and the Making of Men.

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