1 - Josh Allen credits team in return
Five weeks on the sideline allowed Josh Allen to construct his best outing as a professional.
The rookie quarterback, who missed four consecutive games with an elbow sprain, made his highly-anticipated return in Week 12, and he didn’t disappoint. Allen led the Bills to their second straight victory, a 24-21 triumph over the Jaguars.
The 22-year-old completed eight passes for 160 yards in the contest, one of which was a 75-yard bomb to Robert Foster that went for six. He also picked up a career-high 99 yards on the ground.
Allen entered the game with high expectations for himself - he wanted to be a playmaker. He lived up to his own standard.
“My expectations were I’d be back, I’d be better mentally,” Allen said. “Obviously physically, with the elbow holding up. I just wanted to go out there and complete the ball when it needed to be completed, and make plays when plays needed to be made. Trust the guys around me. That’s what we kind of did [Sunday].
“Robert Foster makes a huge play to start the game. Our defense played outstanding, the goal line stop and the missed field goal, three plays later we’re down in the end zone. You just can’t say enough about it, just how we kind of pulled together here.”
2 - Zay Jones: Josh’s return was great
Allen connected with five different receivers in his return. Though the rookie didn’t find Zay Jones on Sunday, the second-year wideout feels as though Buffalo’s offense benefited from Allen’s presence, propelling the team to victory.
“Josh’s return was great,” Jones said. “Definitely what we needed. I know there were a lot of questions, ‘Were we going to keep that momentum going?’, and things like that from two weeks ago. Josh did a great job of coming in there and using his legs for some plays, extending plays.
“He hit Rob Foster on a beautiful ball down the field. Credit to those two guys that made that thing happen, and the offensive line, as well.”
3 - Micah Hyde: Allen is our franchise quarterback
As a stat line that includes 99 rushing yards would suggest, Allen made a lot of plays with his legs on Sunday. The rookie consistently extended plays and, therefore, drives, keeping Buffalo’s offense on the field.
This greatly benefited the defense, who held the Jags to just seven points in the second half. Safety Micah Hyde feels as though the team played complementary football on Sunday, and he had high praise for Allen after the win.
“Josh is a stud, man,” Hyde said. “He’s a stud. We’ve known all along. He’s a rookie, he’s going to have his ups and downs. Obviously injuries, you can’t control. I think ultimately, we wanted to get him healthy. He’s our franchise quarterback. He’s going to play a lot of football in the near future. He’s a very good football player. To see him out there slinging the rock, running for first downs, doing a lot of stuff . . . It’s just the boost that he gives us.”
4 - Star Lotulelei: Man, it feels good
Buffalo’s defense struggled against the run early on, as 16 out of the 17 plays called on Jacksonville’s first two scoring drives were handoffs. The team had a hard time containing Leonard Fournette and Carlos Hyde, who combined for 128 yards on the ground.
The Bills’ defense, however, made adjustments in the second half, ultimately putting a stop to the Jags’ rushing attack and offensive progress as a whole. The unit helped Buffalo win its second consecutive game, its first winning streak of the 2018 campaign.
Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is ecstatic to finally be on a victory streak.
“It feels good,” Lotulelei said. “Man, it feels good. To have Josh come back and get us a win, too. Defense played well enough to keep us in the game. It was good.”
5 - Zo gives fans credit in win
Nearly 60,000 screaming Buffalo fans were on hand to help the Bills upset the slightly-favored Jaguars on Sunday. The crowd forced two false start penalties throughout the game, the second of which fueled a goal line stand late in the third quarter. The penalty pushed Jacksonville back on first down, and Buffalo’s defense kept them out of the end zone. Josh Lambo ultimately missed a 42-yard field goal, three points that went on to decide the game.
Bills’ linebacker Lorenzo Alexander feels as though the fans greatly helped the team on Sunday.
“Oh yeah, yeah,” Alexander said. “Then you have Jordan [Phillips] down there pumping them up. We make big plays, then that get’s them excited and getting them into it. Playing on offense back in the day, when the crowd is loud like that, it’s definitely hard to get off the football, you have to be peaking inside. That definitely gives an advantage to the defense.”