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Josh Allen’s midseason growing pains produced a battle-tested bill

Sometimes it helps to lose. It really is. It may sound cliche, but losing can create a sense of urgency and less panic. The team should make minor necessary changes.

Sometimes it’s helpful to get a reminder that a really good NFL team isn’t good yet.

The Buffalo Bills (9-3) looked like the best team in the NFL after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. They weren’t biased games. Buffalo raced until the last drive. However, the Bills lost and it was good to see that they weren’t doing well.

The offense, which should be their strong point, seemed to struggle. Seemed overly reliant on Josh Allen’s legs and Stefon Diggs.

However, the problem with some teams is their inability to adapt. They don’t have the ability to correct their mistakes, so they can’t go back to the drawing board to fix their mistakes. Bills has a chance to prove he’s fixed those mistakes. They will meet the Jets again this week. In Week 15, they will face the Miami Dolphins, who lost to the Bills for the third time. As a bonus, Buffalo will play Week 17 in Cincinnati and Week 18 in New England.

A misstep could cost the Bills a division.

This may be the toughest stretch of the Bills’ schedule, but they are better prepared to maintain their lead in the AFC East due to the loss.

There are several players stepping up to help Allen.

“Josh is someone who can lead this team,” running back Devin Singleterry told FOX Sports. “We definitely told him, ‘Buddy, you’re not alone here. got you.We want to win as badly as you.So let’s help you as much as we can.Don’t put pressure on you, you don’t have to play hero ball .

In the running back room, Singletary lifted the load. But not myself. He recently got help. Rookie his running his back James his Cook has taken the load off with some impressive performances over the past two weeks.

“He’s done a great job catching the ball out of the backfield… He’s running hard. He’s got great vision. He needs a full back in this league.” He has been able to do a lot for us and he really continues to evolve.”

In addition to midseason trade acquisitions, Nyheim Hines and the Bills have more running backs than they know what to do with. started placing two backs on the field.

“I feel like there’s a lot of people in that room that you think are great. They can come in and play for you at any time,” Dorsey said. I think the balance they’ve created helps them stay fresh and give us a different dimension.”

If there’s a graphic in the run game that shows the Bills need improvement, it’s the one above.In September, the Buffaloes were off the ball-throwing charts. But the Bills were also one of the least efficient teams. He currently ranks 17th in how fast his DVOA is, an advanced metric used to measure overall efficiency, according to Football Outsiders. And in the last three weeks, the rushing DVOA has him in 10th place. they are on the rise.

“You can’t win if you don’t run the ball,” receiver Isiah McKenzie told FOX Sports. “The last few weeks have worked very well for us, so we’re going to keep it going. And as you know, in the passing game, the sky is our limit.”

Even the passing game seemed a little strange during the team’s tumultuous week. Allen seemed persistent as he handed the ball to Diggs. Mackenzie, Cook, tight end Dawson Knox and receiver Gabe Davis all saw production declines. But Allen and Dorsey seem to be making a point of distributing the ball to all skill his players in recent weeks. It hasn’t always been good, but the Bills are learning to rely on players with more offensive skills.

“We can take the pressure off him,” Mackenzie said.

That’s ideal, right? Relaxed Allen. There was a three-week span in which Allen seemed to be pressing. He was running like crazy (and hitting hits that should have made Buffalo nervous). He also threw six interceptions in three weeks, including one in each game in the red zone. One of them gave the Bills the win, with Allen throwing an interception in overtime against Minnesota. An offensive idiosyncrasy, at one point he was dragging down what was his unit’s best pass in the NFL.

With more players involved, the offense is suffering growing pains. But now that they understand how to use different players, the Bills are finding different ways to win, which includes being consistently one of the top five units in the NFL. Includes defense. Buffalo’s defense currently ranks his fourth on the DVOA.

Let’s take a look at two of the Bills’ linebackers, Tremaine Edmonds and Matt Milano. Both are among the top 25 linebackers according to Pro Football Focus. Edmonds is 7th and Milan is 23rd.

“They’re not at their peak performance. They’re still improving. So it’s great to see,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Fraser. I think they will thrive in the linebacker position….they really help our system become what it is now because of their athleticism and the intangibles they bring to the position.”

If the Bills’ linebackers continue to get better, the front seven is stacked so perfectly that players like AJ Epenesa and Gregory Rousseau land first-round picks that have delivered on the pre-draft hype. It’s an embarrassment of wealth, considering that I’m a rotation player.

As the pass offense has improved, the front 7 could see even more upswings around the young core, especially in the absence of Von Miller, who is out for the season after undergoing ACL surgery on Tuesday. Without him, these youngsters would have more time to play. Unfold with a faster clip.

But what about the Bills’ weakness on defense? It’s likely cornerback, and they’ve had the answer all along. He increased his snap count from 16 plays in his Week 12 comeback to his 33 plays in his second game in Week 13. And his PFF grade in that span he increased from 66.1 to 69.8.

“His covering ability, his tackling — everything he did while watching him play only increased our confidence level. . “We’re looking forward to more. .”

Bills has focused on building deeper and more diverse ways to win than just winning games. This is in contrast to teams like the Dolphins. A team like the Dolphins seems to have a set recipe for victory that will either work or break.

I have a lot of bills. And while they’ve lost a few games in the process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t, they’re better at it.

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Prior to joining FOX Sports as an AFC East reporter, Henry McKenna spent seven years covering the Patriots for USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Boston Globe Media. Follow him on Twitter. @ Macken analysis.

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