• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Josh Allen outruns his own mistakes as Bills edge closer to AFC East crown

·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Once again, Josh Allen battled Josh Allen ... but this time, they were both on Buffalo.

Unlike Week 9, when the Jaguars' Josh Allen upended the Bills' Josh Allen, this time the Bills QB was doing battle with his own worst instincts. Good Josh Allen won, as did the Bills, 29-15 over the Falcons, but Bad Josh Allen showed up enough to keep the Bills from getting too comfortable heading into the postseason.

First, the good. You know the cliche about quarterbacks putting their team on their back. In the first quarter, Allen didn't even bother hoisting the rest of the Bills; he handled all business himself, rushing for two touchdowns. It marked his fifth game with two rushing touchdowns, and his first with two in a single quarter. He's also — here's a hair-splitting stat — the first quarterback in NFL history with six or more rushing touchdowns in four consecutive seasons. 

Allen had to outrun his mistakes — specifically, three interceptions that led to 10 of Atlanta's 15 points. The worst was a miserable stretch late in the first half where Allen threw two picks on two successive passes that Atlanta flipped into points that took the Falcons from down 14-5 to up 15-14 headed into the half. 

However, as is obvious from the final score, that was the last time Atlanta put points on the board. Instead, the Bills began relying on a rushing attack from players other than their quarterback, and Devin Singletary punched in two touchdowns of his own. 

Allen's passer rating was a cringeworthy 17, but of course, statistics don't always tell the story. Allen threw for only 160 yards and zero touchdowns against those three interceptions. But he rushed for 81 yards on 15 carries, and his constant threat to cut loose kept Atlanta's defense on roller skates all afternoon. His cannon arm worked against him on a snowy day in Buffalo; several receivers had passes skip off cold hands. But the Bills' always-attack mindset paid off against Atlanta despite the halftime deficit. 

With the victory, Buffalo eliminated Atlanta from the playoffs while clinching their own fourth playoff berth in the last five seasons. It's a significant turnaround for a team that had missed the playoffs for 17 straight years prior to head coach Sean McDermott's arrival. 

The Bills have also set themselves up to take the AFC East crown with a victory next week at home over the Jets. That would mark the Bills' first repeat as AFC East champions since 1988-91.

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 02: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills is tackled on a carry by Adetokunbo Ogundeji #92 of the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 02: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills is tackled on a carry by Adetokunbo Ogundeji #92 of the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

_____

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting