Josh Allen’s five-week layoff from regular season game action naturally created a bit of wonder as to how he’d handle being thrust back into the lineup. As hard as one works in practice to replicate the game setting, it’s never quite at that speed.
Facing the league’s fourth-ranked defense, Allen appeared to handle the speed of the game well despite missing four games due to his elbow injury.
Head coach Sean McDermott felt on the whole that Allen’s decision making and timing were solid.
“I thought overall he was on time going through his reads and progressions, first read, second read,” said McDermott. “Certainly, there were some plays he’d like to have back, but coming off of that hiatus of being out, I thought he was on time with most of those decisions.
“When it was time to pull it down, he pulled it down and went with it. And when it was time to get rid of it, he got rid of it. All in all some good moments for Josh. Certainly room for improvement and that’s what we’ll go back to work on this week.”
Allen led an offense that went two for three in the red zone in their three-point win over Jacksonville, to give the team their first win streak of the season.
Run ‘D’ noticeably improved in second half
Leonard Fournette proved to be a handful for the Bills run defense in the first half. After the offense staked Buffalo to a 14-0 lead, Jacksonville came right back to tie the game riding Fournette and the run game.
On their two touchdown drives they ran the ball on 16 of their 17 plays for 143 yards, good for a per carry average of 8.93 yards. By halftime the Bills had surrendered 173 yards on the ground as the Jaguars averaged 8.2 per carry.
But Buffalo shored up their run defense in the second half, even before Fournette got ejected from the game for fighting. While he was still in the game, the Jaguars managed just 18 yards rushing on their first nine carries of the second half.
All told they managed just 53 on 18 carries for a yards per carry average of 2.94.
“I thought coach Frazier and the defensive staff made good adjustments and the players executed,” said McDermott. “That’s really what it came down to in the first half, was our execution and communication. So that leaves some work on the table for this week.”
Buffalo lost a couple of players to injury in Sunday’s game including CB Lafayette Pitts and RG John Miller. Coach McDermott provided a brief update.
“John Miller had the oblique strain Sunday and is still being evaluated,” he said. “Lafayette Pitts and Derek Anderson are in the concussion protocol.”
As for TE Charles Clay, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury, McDermott said he’s making progress. They want to see how he comes through the week before determining his chances of playing Sunday against his former team Miami.
Trent Murphy, Shaq Lawson and Taron Johnson all played in Sunday’s game, but were not 100 percent. Fortunately, all three came through the game no worse for wear.
“They did,” McDermott confirmed. “Credit our medical and training staff and those guys. Tough football players and they made it through.”