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Consulting With The Coaches

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Bills coaches talk red zone struggles, Josh Allen's performance and Justin Jefferson's catch

1114 Consulting with Coaches

Red zone and second half issues a priority to clean up

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said Monday that the team's woes in the second half — and offensively in the red zone — are two of his biggest areas of concern this week. 

McDermott stressed that cutting down on turnovers in the red zone, will result in better drives for the Bills — which rank 21st in red zone TD scoring (53%).

"During the bye we were one of the top teams in the second half both offensively and defensively. So we've obviously done it before, now we've taken a step back and now we have to reassess and make the appropriate adjustments," he said. 

Josh Allen has had a red zone INT in each of his last three games after throwing just two in his previous 67 starts combined. McDermott said that while it's not all on Allen's shoulders, it'll be a group effort to get the offense going in the right direction.

"I think it's A) it's decision making. But it's why are we making the decisions we're making? Josh is a very confident player, confident in his own abilities, confident in the players around him," McDermott said.  "And sometimes instead of pressing you have to let the game come to you a little bit and take what the defense gives you at times. And then we have to put him in the position to do that from time to time as well."

Frazier breaks down 4th down conversion to Justin Jefferson

The Bills appeared to have the win in hand late in the fourth quarter, that was until Vikings WR Justin Jefferson hauled in a 4th & 18 pass out of the two minute warning to keep Minnesota alive.

Bills safety Cam Lewis went for the INT, but Jefferson came away with a spectacular one-handed catch going to the ground. Lewis lamented his missed chance to knock the ball down at the end of the game and Frazier gave his analysis of the play on Monday.

"You'd like to do what you consider the right thing. But in the moment, sometimes. you don't stay as focused as you may need to," Frazier said. 

"Cam will learn from it, he'll grow from it, and he'll get better. There's a very good chance he may end up in that position again. And I really believe if that were to happen in the future, he'll get that ball knocked down."

No physical limitations on Josh Allen despite injury

While it was a full week of caution and intrigue surrounding quarterback Josh Allen and his availability, the Bills fifth-year QB got the start against the Vikings and had his highest completion percentage (67.4%) in a game since Week 6 at Kansas City and most passing yards (330) since Week 5 vs. Pittsburgh.

While Allen did have two costly interceptions, both McDermott and Dorsey shared that Allen didn't have any throws he was incapable of making with his elbow sprain.

"There weren't really many throws off the table," Dorsey said. "He was really making all the throws throughout the game and I think we all saw that."

Any alterations made to the team's passing plays were adjustments based on Allen's lack of reps on certain plays during practice leading up to the game or concepts he didn't like — no changes in the play calling on passes were made due to the elbow injury.

"It was just taking off concepts that maybe he wasn't as comfortable with because, one he didn't either have a rep, or just in general they're not concepts he loves or he feels great about," Dorsey said.

The team did, however, decide not call any designed runs for Allen to further protect him. Allen did rack up 84 yards on the ground via scrambling out of the pocket.

"That's definitely a consideration going into the game. We wanted to make sure that we weren't putting him in positions to take hits on," Dorsey said.

McDermott also pointed out that on Allen's first interception, where he laid on the ground for a few moments after trying to make the tackle, the QB did re-injure his elbow. 

"It had nothing to do with his elbow. He just got landed on and he needed a second to gather himself a little there."

Injury updates

McDermott gave a rundown of several players' health status other than Allen. 

WR Jake Kumerow left the game with an ankle injury and is "week-to-week", LB Tremaine Edmunds left due to a groin injury and the team will see how he is later in the week.

CB Tre'Davious White, who was inactive for the game, is "just not in a position where he's ready" according to McDermott. 

He concluded by saying S Jordan Poyer (elbow), DE Greg Rousseau and CB Kaiir Elam are all improving.

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