AFC Notes: Bills, Jets, Patriots



One of the criticisms of Bills QB Josh Allen‘s game coming out of Wyoming was his tendency to play hero ball and try to do too much. Sometimes that’s what he had to do in college, but the Bills have made a point of improving the supporting cast around Allen to where he doesn’t feel like he has to win the game on his own. Allen’s made some strides in this area, but old habits reared their heads again in losses to New England and in the first round of the playoffs to Houston.

Allen acknowledged he has to grow in that area but he also wants to avoid turning into “Captain Checkdown” and not being aggressive enough. Bills OC Brian Daboll said figuring out how to balance playing smart and playing aggressive will come to Allen in time. 

“It comes from a variety of areas and No. 1 is experience,” Daboll said via NFL Media’s Michael Giardi. “Continuity plays a part in that he knows who to trust and when to trust them based on the defensive look. That’s all part of it, playing the game, whether you’re 10 years old or in this case, what Josh is, going in his third year here, he’s gotta play the game, get more and more experience and see the value of taking what the defense gives you. If they’re going to give you the check down, and they’re going to take away everything deep, then if the check-down is there, you take it. If they’re taking away the shallow stuff and we can get over the top, then we will go there.

“I think you’ve got to be flexible and adaptable, and Josh has to be as well. He’s got to know — and he will — where his options are and how quickly he needs to go there because there is meat on the bones, there’s yards to be gained with those check downs. Certainly, you don’t want to be, to his point, Captain Checkdown. I understand that and so that’s also where you can open up the defense a little bit with [Stefon] Diggs, with Smoke [John Brown], and Cole [Beasley] and whatnot. I think having different options at Josh’s fingertips will be good because sometimes it doe open up the check down for you if you’re working the perimeter just as well. I think the balance is important.”


  • Ralph Vacchiano imagines that S Jamal Adams would welcome a trade to any team that will immediately sign him to a lucrative contract extension.
  • Vacchiano adds that the Dallas Cowboys remain atop Adams’ list of potential trade destinations.
  • Rich Cimini reports that the Jets have not granted Adams permission to seek a trade and they don’t intend to trade him.
  • Albert Breer says that this will be a big test for GM Joe Douglas and also notes that Adams is close with DC Gregg Williams, who could be a key figure in this situation.


The Patriots will be counting on a number of players to step up into bigger roles this season. On defense, that includes LB Ja’Whaun Bentley who has spent his first two seasons in a reserve role. But now that LBs Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts have moved on, Bentley is slated to have a chance to show off what he’s learned. 

“I would say knowledge. Knowledge of the game and being able to be on the field and kind of be able to direct traffic a little bit more,” Bentley said via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. “Coming from college to the pros, you surround yourself with great veterans, which we have in our organization, so it was a huge opportunity to learn from those guys and kind of implement what you’ve been learning and add it to your game. I feel like year one to year two, took some good steps, but year three, you also want to take those progressive steps and take your game to the next level.”

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