Bills QB Josh Allen may have saved Buffalo’s season with a game-clinching drive against the Patriots in Week 16. He converted multiple third and fourth downs with his legs and his arm, and his playmaking gene was on full display with a couple of huge shovel pass flips, including for a touchdown that put Buffalo up two scores deep in the fourth quarter. Allen finished the game 30-47 passing with 314 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 12 carries for 64 yards.
“He was doing some of that [playmaking] before,” Bills HC Sean McDermott said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I think probably the bigger maturation area is taking some of those checkdowns early in the game like he was, and us getting some RAC off of those checkdown opportunities that we had there after that.”
The struggles of Jets first-round QB Zach Wilson have been well-documented this season. The No. 2 overall pick has been one of the worst quarterbacks in football this year and seems stuck in a perpetual funk. The coaching staff worked with him early in the year to play the game manager role and not improvise when it wasn’t needed. They even hired his personal QB coach John Beck to consult with the team, meaning Wilson has HC Robert Saleh, OC Mike LaFleur, QB coach Rob Calabrese and senior assistant Matt Cavanaugh all in his year at least semi-regularly. Now Wilson looks like he’s over-thinking everything, and he had a quote that was telling.
“Personally for me, I just need to play loose and not try and be such a perfect pocket passing quarterback all the time,” Wilson said via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “That’s the biggest thing. I’m just trying to do so right by the coaches and what they’re asking me to do, and a part of it I need to just be loose and play free and obviously play within the offense but just react and throw the ball like I’ve always known how to throw the ball.”
- Jets HC Robert Saleh said OL Connor McGovern is out this week with an MCL injury. He was later placed on injured reserve. (Brian Costello)
- Saleh added “barring a miracle,” LT Mekhi Becton will not return this year. (Rich Cimini)
- Per ESPN’s Mike Reiss, HBO’s Hard Knocks showed a glimpse at how opponents view Patriots first-round QB Mac Jones. Colts LB coach Dave Borgonzi said in a meeting while prepping for New England: “He’s a good player. He’s accurate and everything. But he’s a rookie, so he’ll do some things like this. Stop the run. Make this guy play quarterback. You guys good on that?”
- Jones threw two picks in the loss to the Colts but he left teammates like TE Hunter Henry impressed with how he bounced back and kept the Patriots in the game: “He faces it head-on and doesn’t back down. He can make a bad read, bad play, and he continues to strive forward. I think it shows a lot to us offensively — that even when we have bad plays, we have to continue to go forward, too. He’s done a great job at that.”
- Reiss mentions Patriots RB Devine Ozigbo turned down a chance to sign to the Jaguars’ active roster and lock in three game checks to stay in New England because he believes he’s improving considerably under the current coaching staff.
- Patriots HC Bill Belichick said he hasn’t been asked permission for head coach interviews for OC Josh McDaniels yet: “I haven’t heard from anybody.” (Karen Guregian)