Allen committed four turnovers in the 22-16 loss on September 11, throwing three interceptions and losing a costly fumble that allowed the Jets to take the lead in the fourth quarter. After the game, Allen put the blame on himself and said he needed to improve on his mistakes, but it wasn’t enough to keep him out of the crosshairs of critics.
The scrutiny grew a bit louder later in the week when video went viral on social media showing Allen’s apparent “flop” after the last of his interceptions.
‘Soft’ Josh Allen Under Fire
The day after the game, an account for the “Cool Your Jets” podcast shared a video on Twitter that appeared to show Allen initiating contact with Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams after Allen threw his third interception.
“Josh Allen trying to flop after initiative contact…how soft,” the caption read.
After Allen made contact with Williams, he appeared to fall backward as if he were hit, though the video cuts short of showing what happened afterward. The clip led to some sharp criticism from fans who thought that Allen was flopping in an attempt to draw a roughing flag.
“What is he playing Soccer?” one person wrote in response.
“He’s become so unlikeable,” wrote another.
Josh Allen Addresses Risky Play Style
Allen’s three interceptions led to widespread criticism of his play style, especially his tendency to force difficult plays rather than take easier throws. In all three of his interceptions, the Bills had other receivers open for shorter passes but Allen opted to test the Jets defense going deep.
Speaking to reporters on September 13, Allen said he needs to find the right balance of accepting shorter passes when they’re given by a defense and knowing when to throw deep.
“It’s the double-edged sword of, I get away with it a lot of the times and sometimes I don’t and sometimes it hurts us,” Allen said, via ESPN. “So, just knowing when and where to do it and when not to do it … Year 6 in this league and I should know better when to do that. And now I gotta, like I said, gotta go out there and I gotta prove that.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott, who was seen telling Allen to be “smart” on the sidelines during Monday’s game, said the Pro Bowl quarterback needs to do a better job of not forcing difficult plays.
“It gets back to, as Josh and I have discussed, being a great decision-maker, that not only means where you throw the ball, but also what you do when the ball’s in your hands just overall and living to play another down,” coach Sean McDermott said on Wednesday. “… I know he has that ability. I’ve seen him do it.”
The Bills travel back to Orchard Park to host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, and Allen he’s already put the Jets loss behind him.
“I’m not gonna let it affect me going forward,” Allen said. “As a quarterback in this league, the best ones are able to kind of put this behind them, but take away lessons from it, but not let it affect how they play the next game in a negative way.”
Nathan Dougherty is a sports reporter covering the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions for Heavy. Previously he wrote for the Rochester Business Journal and served as the assistant editor of athletic trade magazines Coaching Management, Athletic Management and Training & Conditioning. He is based out of Rochester, New York, and loves everything football. More about Nathan Dougherty