1. Bills’ young leaders working on discipline, comfort
Head coach Sean McDermott has called his Bills team “young” on a number of occasions throughout the 2018 season. Although Buffalo has the fifth oldest team in the league on paper, they have young players playing in a number of key positions.
Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds, whom the team took with the seventh and 16th overall picks in the 2018 draft, respectively, both find themselves playing in incredibly important roles. They both serve as the ‘quarterback’ of their respective side of the ball, with Allen literally starting at quarterback and Edmunds starting at middle linebacker. The two rookies are learning on the fly, and McDermott knows that they have no place to go but up.
“We have some young players out there,” McDermott said. “A young quarterback, a young middle linebacker that their best days of football are ahead of them, and they’re going to continue to get better and continue to grow, continue to learn. Nobody said that this was going to be easy, and that’s what we’re going through right now. Sometimes there’s a lag in the terms of results, and we’re going to continue to work at it. Like I said last week, nobody’s going to work harder than we are at it, and we just have to continue to grind.”
Mistakes are to be expected from rookies. Over the first two weeks of the season, McDermott has noticed a slight lack of discipline and in-game focus from his young players. This is something that McDermott will look to correct moving forward.
“When you look at a lot of our young players, their eyes are all over the place,” McDermott said. “That tends to happen when the game’s moving fast, and that’s natural for young players. Josh, and same with Tremaine [Edmunds], we need to make sure our eyes are disciplined, and they are where they need to be at the proper time.”
Discipline and comfort are things that Allen is working toward improving.
“There were a couple of times [on Sunday] where the comfort level wasn’t there for me,” Allen said “So I’ve got to be a better quarterback for this football team and we’ve got to win football games.”
2. Lorenzo Alexander was ‘in the zone’ vs. Chargers
In the second half of their Week 2 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Bills’ defense became a brick wall.
After allowing 28 points in the first half, Buffalo shut Los Angeles down in the third and fourth quarters, limiting them to just 65 offensive yards and three points.
Lorenzo Alexander helped lead the Bills’ defensive surge. The linebacker was all over the field in the second half, seemingly making impact play after impact play. Alexander finished the game with seven tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack.
Head coach Sean McDermott praised Alexander’s Week 2 performance, also complimenting rookie quarterback Josh Allen’s ability to energize the defense.
“Oh, he was in the zone,” McDermott said. “He was on fire. Loved his energy, loved the defensive energy overall. To add to that, when you get a young player like Josh [Allen], who is the quarterback and young quarterback of your football team, coming over to the defense before they take the field… I think it was mentioned in the press conference after the game, in fact. He’s getting the defense fired up. That’s when you see the team starting to come together, guys pulling for guys, encouraging one another, loving on one another in that regard, and playing with great energy. It was good to see.”
3. Josh Allen’s passing yardage total among the best in franchise history in first career start
Josh Allen and Jim Kelly have been compared to one another on more than a few occasions over the past number of months.
Stylistically, they aren’t all that similar to one another. However, Allen and Kelly are consistently compared to each other because of their role. Kelly, who played for the Bills from 1986-1996, was Buffalo’s last franchise quarterback. Fans hope that Allen, Buffalo’s highest selected quarterback in franchise history, will develop into the team’s next franchise signal-caller.
Perhaps it’s by coincidence; perhaps it’s fate, but Allen and Kelly currently themselves being compared to each other yet again.
Allen started the first game of his professional career in Week 2 of the 2018 season. He completed 18 passes for 245 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. In fact, Allen’s initial outing produced the most yardage for a Bills quarterback in his first career start since Kelly threw for 292 yards against the New York Jets on September 7, 1986.
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