1. Josh Allen keeping his focus on preparation
Rookie quarterback Josh Allen wasn’t supposed to see the field at all in the Buffalo Bills’ 2018 regular season opener. However, when the Bills found themselves down by a couple of scores early on in the second half, they altered their plans.
Allen took the reins of Buffalo’s offense with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter. The 22-year-old completed six of 15 passes for 74 yards. He also picked up 26 yards on the ground. Allen orchestrated the Bills’ only scoring drive of the game, a 12-play series in the third quarter that resulted in a Stephen Hauschka field goal.
Allen described what it was like to take his first NFL snaps after the conclusion of the game. While he admitted that entering a 40-0 ball game wasn’t ideal, he realizes that there’s still a lot of football to be played.
“I went in there, and it wasn’t the most desirable of situations, but my job was to go out there and make some plays,” Allen said. “This is just one game. This is just one loss. We have 15 more of these to play.”
Head coach Sean McDermott said he will look at the tape before commenting on whether Allen will continue in his backup role. The rookie, however, isn’t focused on that. He’s going to continue to make sure that he’s ready when his number is called.
“That’s not my call,” Allen said. “I’m just going to work hard and be ready when they call on me.”
While Allen obviously would have loved to see the Bills leave Baltimore with a victory, he hasn’t lost confidence in his team.
“This is a resilient team,” Allen said. “We’ll learn what we can and move forward. I will continue to do what I can to get better and be as ready as possible.”
2. Team captains analyze how the Bills can rebound from Sunday’s loss
Losing in the NFL, no matter the score, is never ideal.
However, the NFL schedule is long. While starting the season off with a 1-0 record is something that all teams hope to do, dropping the first game of the season isn’t the end of the world.
For the Bills, their regular season opener wasn’t pretty, but they’re not going to let it define their season.
After the team’s week one loss to the Ravens, defensive tackle Kyle Williams described how he and his teammates will respond moving forward.
“Everybody has to look in the mirror and ask what can I do better and make that choice,” Williams said. “We all have to make that decision. The only way we’re going to get better is to go back and learn from it and go to work. I think we’ve got a group of guys that aren’t going to shy away from work. They’re going to tackle the day and challenge themselves, and we’re going to get better.”
A 13-year veteran, Williams is one of Buffalo’s leaders on and off the field. He’s extremely respected by his teammates, which is why they elected him as one of the team’s six captains for the 2018 season.
Running back LeSean McCoy was also elected as a captain. After the disappointing season opener, McCoy talked about reacting to the loss as a leader, stating that nobody will be singled out in the reflection process.
“The first thing I will tell everyone is that there is no finger-pointing around here,” McCoy said. “We will look at the film and make corrections. It’s early in the season. We only lost one game. We’ve got a lot of games remaining.”
3. Rookie defenders flash playmaking ability in NFL debuts
While Buffalo’s season opener did not play out as many had hoped, rookie Tremaine Edmunds and Harrison Phillips gained valuable experience in Baltimore.
At just 20-years of age, Edmunds became the youngest starting linebacker of the Super Bowl era when he started in the middle for Buffalo on Sunday. He totaled seven tackles, two pass deflections, and one sack. Just a few plays after taking Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco to the ground, Edmunds forced a fumble. The ball was recovered by Matt Milano and set the Bills up in solid field position.
Phillips recorded four tackles, two of which were for a loss.
Another rookie, cornerback Taron Johnson, saw playing time at the nickel position, recording two tackles. He left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury.