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Quick Hits | Offense must find a way to improve execution

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) touchdown Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns at First Energy Stadium on November 10, 2019.  
Photo by Craig Melvin
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) touchdown Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns at First Energy Stadium on November 10, 2019. Photo by Craig Melvin

1. Offense must find a way to improve execution

Bills head coach Sean McDermott was asked a number of questions as to what is needed on offense to improve their level of success. From offensive identity to getting the ball to playmakers, Buffalo's sideline boss recognizes that the team's attack might not have a recognizable identity. But he believes if they can simply improve their execution that what they are as an offense will reveal itself.

"We've got to score more points," he said. "I said it after the game and after watching the tape I still feel the same way. We've got to score to enable ourselves to win games and be a threat down the stretch. That's what we've got to do."

When asked if he'd prefer to be more of a run-oriented offense or a passing attack, McDermott stated that his end game is much simpler than that.

"I want to move the ball and score points," he said. "Whether it's through the air or on the ground, I want to be able to move the ball and score points and be a physical offense. It all starts with me and putting people in position to make plays and then a higher level of execution.

"You want to be able to extend drives. The more multiple-play drives you have, the harder it is to play clean football all the way through the drive. Whether it's chunks, multiple plays, that's where the higher level of execution has to come in so it leads to points."

2. Assessing the deep passing accuracy issues for the offense

Josh Allen took his shots on some deep throws to a few of his receivers in Sunday's loss to the Browns, but his longest pass play that connected went to Cole Beasley over the middle midway through the fourth quarter for 26 yards.

A deep shot to Isaiah McKenzie over the top was overthrown and there were a few others that missed their intended targets.

For head coach Sean McDermott, he went right back to making the plays happen.

"It's execution. When you look at our offense overall it's a higher level of execution," he said. "How do we do that? We build the rep count. We detail our work during the week and then build a rep count."

McDermott then broke down that play to McKenzie that fell incomplete and explained part of the reason why it was unsuccessful.

"A couple of good examples on the play to Isaiah down the middle of the seam there is it's an overthrown ball, but there's pressure inside (on Allen) and there's a flash coming from behind the line across and somebody knocks one of our own players off their block and so you're talking about six inches sometimes, but that's the difference between a big play and zero gain in that situation."

Knowing one of the strengths of Allen's game is his ability to take the deep shots, McDermott isn't frustrated by the lack of success for the passing offense in that area. He maintains that they will hit on it sooner rather than later.

"I remain confident in Josh and when you look at what we've been able to do with the way he's been able to develop with short to intermediate this year, and certainly I understand the point of going down the field with accuracy, we have to do that as well," he said. "But that's where execution comes in."

3. Thoughts on 4th-and-4 at end of the game

There was a lot of armchair quarterbacking on what should've been done on the Bills' 4th-and-4 decision to attempt a game-tying 53-yard field goal, especially after the attempt was no good.

Coach McDermott explained some of the discussions that were had on the sideline as the series reached fourth down.

"You always want to have a chance to win the game," McDermott said. "If you go for it on fourth down and you make it, great you give yourself a chance to win the game. If you don't get it, you never really give yourself a chance to win the game. So you want to give your players a chance to win the game and I thought we did that. In that moment I thought it was the right thing for our team."

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