1. Sean McDermott credits Josh Allen for a clean game
There may not have been a bloated stat line in the game book for Josh Allen in Sunday's victory, but head coach Sean McDermott was pretty pleased with what the Bills got from their starting quarterback in the win over the Dolphins.
"I thought he played a clean game for the most part," said McDermott of Allen's performance this past Sunday.
One play that innocuously went down as an incomplete pass on the stat sheet was a heads-up play by Allen early in the game, when a pass intended for Cole Beasley was batted into the air and would've been intercepted by Miami had Allen not intervened and raked the arms of the Dolphins defensive lineman trying to make sure the ball fell to the turf.
"He made a really good play on the ball on the pass that got batted up in the first quarter," said McDermott. "That could've been a game-changing kind of play. Just a smart play by Josh. I thought the line did a good job of protecting him and giving him time. He made plays with his arm and went through his reads. If and when necessary he used his feet, which was good to see. I thought he was smart with the football."
Allen and the offense had trouble finishing drives with touchdowns in the first half of the game, but they made the most of the two takeaways by the defense turning it into 15 points, with a pair of touchdown drives which were critical in the 10-point victory.
2. Some areas to clean up
Though the Bills improved to 5-1 on the season and possess the second-best record in the league, there are some clear areas in need of improvement in the eyes of McDermott.
Chief among them is reducing the number of penalties and tightening up their overall execution. Buffalo had another nine penalties on Sunday for 83 yards.
"Our whole team we have a lot of work to do," said McDermott. "This week is another week for us to continue to improve and work on our fundamentals and our discipline. As it relates to our penalties, our tackling, our catching the football, our blocking, getting off blocks, we have to execute at a higher level. We had opportunities in the game. I thought the first couple of drives we drove the football, but we need to score seven on those drives. So we've got a week of work ahead of us here."
Buffalo hosts the Eagles on Sunday at New Era Field, but the Bills head coach believes without sound fundamental play, fewer errors and more consistent execution, coming out on the winning end will prove difficult.
"There are a lot of things from the game that we have to get cleaned up this week and try to play better football against a good opponent this week in Philadelphia," he said. "They're just a year and a half removed from the Super Bowl as defending champs."
3. Still bringing young players along
Part of the reason that the collective play of the team is a bit inconsistent is due to the fact that the Bills are relying on a lot of young players, much like they did last season.
Several rookie and first-year players have made quality contributions through the first third of the season, but have also had a few miscues. While the coaching staff has resolute confidence in those young players, it doesn't mean any of them can rest on their laurels.
"A lot of what we'll see with our young players is they'll continue to go through highs and lows," said McDermott. "That's the nature of being a young player in this league and they have to weather that mentally and remain steadfast in their confidence and habits during the week."
With players like Cody Ford, Dawson Knox, Devin Singletary and Duke Williams filling important roles on offense and Ed Oliver, Darryl Johnson and Levi Wallace on defense, the coaching staff recognizes smoothing out inconsistencies will take a dedicated focus from everyone.
"We're counting on a lot of young players and at this point in the season, they're no longer rookies," McDermott said. "So they have to continue to double down on their process and their preparation because we're counting on them."