The Buffalo Bills laid their first egg of the 2020 season in Tuesday night's 42-16 blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans.
It was an ominous start from Buffalo with a Josh Allen pass deflected off the hands of Andre Roberts and intercepted by Malcolm Butler to open the game. The wayward toss led to a Titans touchdown, and Buffalo was in comeback mode off the bat.
It was by far Allen's worst game of the season.
"We've got to be better and that starts with me," the third-year QB said, via WKBW Buffalo. "We'll learn from this one, we're not going to make it a bigger deal than what it needs to be, we've got a short week ahead of us and we need to learn from this one and kind of forget about it as quick as we can."
Allen finished 26-of-41 passing for 263 yards, 6.4 yards per attempt, two TD passes and two INTs for a 77.6 passer rating. He registered season lows in passing yards, passing yards per attempt and passer rating.
After tossing one interception through the first four games, Allen threw his first multi-INT game since a Week 4, 2019 loss versus the Patriots. Allen had five multi-pick games in his rookie season. He has just three since.
Many will use Allen's prime-time debacle to justify their previously held stance that the big-armed QB is rubbish. Such preconceived takes would ignore the third-year pro's outstanding play through the first month of the season and stay blind to the unquestionable strides Allen made this year with touch passes and deep-ball accuracy. One game makes not a season nor a career.
Every quarterback in NFL history has had bad days like Allen experienced Tuesday. From greats like Tom Brady and Joe Montana to afterthoughts such as John Skelton and Brian St. Pierre, every single QB has had rough days at the office. That is life. Even you, fine reader, haven't performed at a HOF-level every day of your career. Nor should we expect to.
The key is how Allen bounces back. The greats take the one-game dip and turn it into a yearlong upward streak towards prominence. Good players continue the roller-coaster of ups-and-downs that will define their careers. Mediocre ones careen to the bottom of the pit.
It wasn't as if Allen was the only one who played atypically poor Tuesday. The defense couldn't get a stop in the red zone, and Sean McDermott's squad committed penalty after penalty in a sloppy affair.
"It was an uncharacteristic game for us, uncharacteristically poor fundamentals, poor pre-snap discipline, turning the ball over," McDermott said. "There's only one opponent and the opponent's on the other sideline. You can't beat yourself and again, give them credit. They were ready to go and at the same time, we beat ourselves."
Allen's two INTs were the biggest self-beaters of the night, with the Titans turning each into a TD. The Bills outgained Tennessee 370-334, and Buffalo converted 13 of 17 3rd downs (76.5 percent). The difference was the sloppy turnovers.
"It is what it is. We're not going to let this one loss define us," Allen added. "We understand you can't win them all so this is a game we got beat in all three phases - offense, defense, and special teams and we understand that. We've got to be better, we've got to be prepared, and we've got to come out swinging early."
Tuesday marked a gauntlet streak for the Bills, which continues on Monday against the Chiefs and includes the Patriots and Seahawks in Weeks 8 and 9. How Buffalo comes out of this set of games will tell us what type of team McDermott has in 2020.