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Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen looking to carry over new-found 'spark' into Eagles matchup


If you've seen any of the "John Wick" movies or are familiar with the character, then Josh Allen's viral moment from Week 11 may have sounded familiar.

As part of their weekly 'Inside the NFL' coverage, the NFL Films crew was in Buffalo on Sunday gathering behind-the-scenes moments from the Bills' 32-6 win over the Jets. Their camera crews picked up Allen, well-known by his teammates for being a film connoisseur, channeling his inner Wick.

"I feel like I'm f —— back," Allen yelled on the sidelines immediately after Khalil Shakir's 81-yard touchdown — the longest TD pass in the NFL this season.

When asked about that moment after Wednesday's walk-through, he referenced the popular movie series as his inspiration.

"I watched John Wick 3, that's what he says. So I was just pumped up on the sideline," Allen said.

Not to over-correct the Bills QB, but technically the “I’m back” scene took place in the original "John Wick" (2014) film. Though perhaps that makes the quote ring truer as Allen said this week he's trying to get back to being his original, fiery self. 

"Just trying to be myself out there and whatever it calls for me," Allen shared. "Whatever emotions I'm feeling, I feel like I play with my emotions on my sleeve and maybe I've been masking that the last few games or throughout this season."

"But I need to let my guys know how much I care about this game and how much I care about them, so if that calls for emotion, that's what it calls for."

The singular sideline moment was part of a larger story for the Bills, who had their best team performance in over a month. Over the past several days, the players and coaching staff have all agreed that the energy and intensity the team played with against the Jets was noticeably higher.

As Buffalo gears up for a critical stretch of the regular season, Allen said it's paramount they carry over the spark from their Week 11 performance.

"I think it has to," Allen said. "We've talked a lot internally about how to kind of spark or ignite this team and we feel like we're in a good spot right now. And obviously, backs are still against the wall. We still gotta go win a lot, a lot more games. But you can't win the next one, you got to win this one."

Defending Philadelphia 

QBs Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts have yet to face each other in their NFL careers; their first matchup will be a memorable one. Sunday's regular season meeting will be the first time since 1975 that both QBs rank 1st & 2nd (outright) in the NFL in total TDs entering Week 12 or later. 

Allen leads the NFL in total TDs this season (29), with Hurts ranking second (24).

However, Hurts not only leads the league in rushing TDs this year (9), he has dominated that statistic since 2021. The current MVP favorite has 32 scores on the ground during that span, 12 more than the second-place Allen.

"He's playing at a high, high level," Bills coach Sean McDermott said of Hurts Wednesday.

Hurts and the Philadelphia offense have taken the league by storm the last two years with their version of the QB sneak, known mainly as the "Tush Push" or "Brotherly Shove". It's Philly's go-to play on 3rd or 4th-and-short scenarios and their success rate is the best in the NFL on those calls.

"They believe a lot in the analytical approach and those four-down windows," McDermott said.

The Bills are likely to see their fair share of the "Tush Push". Philly ran it three times against the Chiefs on Monday night and converted all three tries. Hurts scored on a 1st and goal call from the 1-yard line to take a 21-17 lead late in the fourth quarter.

McDermott said the Bills have to be prepared for that play whenever the Eagles get into a short yardage situation, no matter the down.

"Whether it's three to go, two to go, one to go situations. So that in and of itself is a tough situation to defend. They have a unique approach," he said.

Morse: "It's awesome and humbling" 

Bills center Mitch Morse is Buffalo's nominee for the Art Rooney award for 2023, an honor given to a player who displays outstanding sportsmanship on the field. The winner will be announced as part of NFL Honors and will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

Morse said Wednesday that "it's awesome and humbling" to have the recognition from his teammates. As a leader and captain on the Bills, Morse shared that he tries to be someone his teammates can depend on day in, day out.

"For me, it's just trying to be a consistent person, and then hopefully that permeates and resonates through the rest of the guys," he said.

Josh Allen said Morse is someone who plays the game the right way and treats his teammates the right way, too.

"If there's anybody on this team that deserves the Sportsmanship Award, it's him. He's an all-time guy. One of the nicest dudes in the world. I love him. I love his family. He's meant a lot to me in my career here, and that's a special award."

Notable past winners of the award include DT Calais Campbell (2022), QB Teddy Bridgewater (2020), RB Adrian Peterson (2019) and WR Larry Fitzgerald (2014). 

Injury updates

The Bills held a walk-through Wednesday and the following players did not participate: S Taylor Rapp (neck), NCB Taron Johnson (concussion) and CB Dane Jackson (concussion).

S Micah Hyde (neck/stinger) and CB Cam Lewis (shoulder) were limited.

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