1. Buffalo is confident in Matt Barkley
Head coach Sean McDermott had no update on the condition of Josh Allen and he remains in the concussion protocol. With no timetable set for his return, the Bills are preparing for Sunday with Matt Barkley as the starting quarterback.
“He’s well respected by our team,” McDermott said. “He’s earned everything he’s gotten here. You guys saw what he’s done and how he carries himself week to week, day to day, around the building. He’s highly prepared every week whether he’s played or he hasn’t, which is the life of a backup quarterback and there’s a lot of internal belief in Matt Barkley. We know we’re ready to go.”
Barkley threw for 127 yards, completing nine of 16 passes as Allen’s replacement in Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
If Allen is ultimately unable to go, it will be Barkley’s first start since Nov. 11, 2018. The Bills defeated the Jets 41-10 and Barkley threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns in the game.
“He’s a pro,” Brian Daboll said. “I’d say he’s worked really hard to understand our system and we worked really hard to understand his strengths and weaknesses. He’s had all preseason with us he knows our offense and he’s here for a reason.”
2. Brian Daboll: We don’t make excuses
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll admitted the offense didn’t succeed when necessary on Sunday. The offense could have struggled for a number of reasons but youth and inexperience weren’t any of them when asked during his weekly press conference.
“No, we make no excuses,” Daboll said. “Our job is to take care of the ball and score points, we need to get that done, you got to look in the mirror. However you moved the ball, it really doesn’t matter until you put the ball in the end zone and you’re able to take care of it.”
The Bills were able to move effectively against the Patriots’ top-ranked defense. Buffalo had 375 yards of offense and had 23 first downs to New England’s 11. The Bills were able to reach the end zone once, but four drives ended with a turnover.
“When you give the opponent opportunities to get the ball back, and give credit to our defense they played a heck of a game, we didn’t capitalize when we needed to capitalize,” Daboll said. “When we turn the ball over, I got to do a better job of getting these guys to take care of the ball and it starts with me.”
Daboll put it simply on how the Bills can improve.
“Work on it in practice and give them better calls,” Daboll said.
3. Why Buffalo’s defense felt they needed to do more on Sunday
The Bills defense needed to do more on Sunday. Despite holding New England to under 225 yards of offense Buffalo’s defense was only able to muster one turnover, although it was an interception in the endzone by Micah Hyde.
“Now, someone has to make a play on our side of the ball, we got to get one more turnover,” Jerry Hughes said on Sunday. “Micah [Hyde] had a great interception to kind of keep some points off the board. Somebody up front, we got to force a fumble, get a sack, find a way just to kind of create some momentum just to kind of help our offense. That's our job is to create turnovers, create a short field and we just fell short today.”
Micah Hyde said that media and fans would not understand why the defense has that mentality that they didn’t do enough. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier explained further on Monday.
“There’s going to be some days when we’re not working on all cylinders and on defense, or special teams, and our offense is going to have to pick us up,” Frazier said. “That's part of being a team. And so as an assistant coach, along with other assistant coaches, that's our job to reiterate, the fact that we're a team and we’re not going to let anything divide what we have as a culture on this football team. No matter what happens on Sunday, we're all in this together and we've got each other's back. We talked about that all the time. You just come in and battle every week and try to get a W.”