For the Bills, Sunday’s game against Cleveland is as close to a must-win as they’ve had in quite some time after dropping two straight including a heartbreaker to the Vikings in Week 10. While a 6-3 record with eight games to go isn’t exactly a death sentence (even if Bills fans are treating it as such), Buffalo’s expected romp through the AFC East is no longer a foregone conclusion with the Dolphins and Jets both ahead of them in the standings and New England suddenly in the playoff mix after winning four of its last five.
At one point the frontrunner for MVP, Josh Allen has struggled of late, committing a league-high 10 interceptions with six of those coming in his last three games. While a nagging elbow injury could be to blame for his recent difficulties, Rich Eisen thinks Allen has become his own worst enemy, forcing ambitious passes into tight coverage, among other mistakes the Bills gunslinger should have outgrown by now.
“I don’t see an injured quarterback,” the popular NFL Network host said Tuesday on The Rich Eisen Show. “I see a quarterback trying to do too much.”
Eisen thinks Allen, for all his gifts as a football player (size, superior athleticism, a rocket arm … you name it), has developed his share of bad habits including a troubling affinity for “hero” ball, specifically citing his pass to Gabe Davis in overtime of Sunday’s loss to Minnesota, a head-scratching decision that would ultimately cost Buffalo the game.
“That throw into the end zone in overtime that Josh Allen tried to stick in there to Gabe Davis on second down—unnecessary,” said Eisen, arguing that Allen’s supreme confidence, while admirable, too often veers toward recklessness. “He’s trying to be the hero with every throw.”
Eisen didn’t absolve the coaching staff of blame, suggesting Buffalo would benefit from a more balanced approach on offense. In particular, Eisen thinks Buffalo could make much better use of running back Devin Singletary, who staked the Bills to an early lead with a pair of first-half touchdowns Sunday but was used sparingly in the second half, logging just four carries after halftime.
“Sometimes they just forget about the run,” said Eisen. “The mistakes are catching up. They caught up with the Bills at the Jets two Sundays ago and it caught up with them against the Minnesota Vikings up 27-10, and they blew it.”
The Bills will look to put their recent slump behind them when the Browns visit this weekend, a task complicated by what could be harrowing conditions with forecasts calling for up to 30 inches of snow.
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