A preseason favorite to win the league’s MVP award, Allen has been tough over the past four weeks. He completed only 61 percent of his passes in that span, with four touchdowns to six interceptions, and grabbed 11 sacks. His passer rating during that rut is a paltry 74.1, which is 30th in the NFL at the time and a massive fall from his debut to the season. if you remember, After defeating Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs at Kansas City and led the Bills to first in the AFC with a 5-1 record, Allen tied Mahomes for the NFL lead with 17 passing touchdowns to just four interceptions, and his 109.1 rating led all quarterbacks starting every game.
It was a huge drop. Things got bogged down in the red zone, the big time, and the passing game got harder and harder as the weeks went by. Only Houston’s Davis Mills has thrown more interceptions than Allen since Week 6 (and Allen capitalized on a bye).
It all has many people in the league’s coaching and management ranks suggesting that the absence of longtime Allen coordinator and play-caller, Daboll, is a significant factor in the origins of this malaise—or at least in its persistence. Daboll had an uncanny ability to read a quarterback’s body language and feel when he was falling back into bad habits and trying to do too much. Daboll knew how to rein him in and keep Allen from forcing things—a process that began when the quarterback was a rookie vulnerable to his turnover.
“I think he misses Daboll,” said one evaluator, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an active player. “I definitely think that’s part of it. Look what he did to him [New York Giants quarterback Daniel] JonesMinimizing bad throws and easy picks. He has a knack for it.”
“I don’t think you can overestimate what Daboll means to his development. Not just on game day but during the week,” said one AFC general manager, who is not allowed to discuss employee dissents publicly.
One of the hallmarks of the Daboll’s Giants in his first season in charge was their ability to adapt in the second half, finding ways to adapt and score after halftime. A year ago, the Bills offense under his direction scored 258 points in the second half, more than any other team—an average of 15.2 points per game. Buffalo is currently tied for 16th in the NFL in second-half scoring with 114 points through 10 games (11.4 per game). The trend has gotten more intense lately: Since Week 6, the Bills have only produced 30 points in the second half of games, which ranks 27th in the NFL. This is hardly what we expected from them.
The Bills’ new offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey, gained notoriety early this season when he was spotted out smash his perch in the press box. He has, well, a big playing card to fill, if you will. He’s still growing on the job, but he’s doing it quickly for a team in Super Bowl or pedestal status.
Allen has enough superhuman strength and a very high work rate that he can’t be expected to struggle for long. Everyone has cooldowns (except for Mahomes), and it stands to reason that at some point this season Buffalo’s offense would reach a crossroads. But some would point out that the lows might not have been that low — or for so long — if the Giants coach was still with Allen in Western New York.
I was talking to a GM early last week about senior coordinators candidates for the next training cycle who weren’t getting enough attention. Soon the name of Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing came up.
Like the Tennessee team itself, Downing has consistently done more with less, finding ways to keep the Titans in contention for the AFC’s top seed once again. That’s despite playing a few games without a quarterback who was even trying to throw the ball (Malik Willis), enduring long stretches without a proven impact receiver, and going from a veteran tight end room to a rookie. Downing’s profile emerged to be on the rise after an impressive prime-time performance last Thursday in Green Bay, where he called goal-line touchdown passes to running backs Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill looked better than he had all season.
“That will get him out of the mix this year,” said the AFC general manager, who is not allowed to speak publicly about coaching personnel on other teams. “I don’t think you can interview him now. If we need a coach, I can’t recommend him.”
NFL investigate Downing’s possible alcohol consumption either during the return trip from Green Bay or at the team’s facility upon the Titans’ return. Having covered the league for nearly two decades and hearing story after story of partying while traveling after a game, I have to be very naive to think this isn’t uncommon, but the league seems intent on keeping an eye on it now. And rightly so.
Notes from around the league
There was speculation around the league that the Carolina Panthers would take another long look at Sam Darnold, Now they said they would, starting on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. They’re paying Darnold big money, and the residents who watched Baker Mayfield’s return last week were far less impressed. “Pathetic” is what one of the scouts who reviewed his film against the Baltimore Ravens called him. …
We suggested last week that Zack Wilson It may be in lost time With the New York Jets and coach Robert Saleh Made the change to Administrator Mike White Wednesday. After opening the floodgates to a quarterback change earlier in the week, Saleh risked alienating his players — who thought they had a voice in the process, at least somewhat — by not switching from Wilson now. Accountability is a huge part of playing quarterback in this league. …
Early returns for two hired Eagles shortstops signed off the Street last week — Linval Joseph and Ndamkong Suh — were very strong in Philadelphia’s win over the Indianapolis Colts. Freshman defensive tackle Jordan Davis will also be running back.