The Buffalo Bills held a 16-0 third-quarter lead in a road playoff tilt against the Houston Texans. Then it all slipped away.
Quarterback Josh Allen came out of the gate hot, helping build a 13-0 halftime lead, but struggled in the second half. Coach Sean McDermott admitted after the game that Allen was trying to do too much.
The QB threw for 264 yards and rushed for another 92, but also took three sacks, lost a big fumble and forced a boatload of throws in the second half and overtime -- famously one deep downfield to a fullback. Allen was out of control at times, including a wild lateral late in the fourth quarter when the Bills were driving to tie the game.
Ultimately, Buffalo came up short, losing to Deshaun Watson's heroics in OT.
Allen joined NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Wednesday and noted that the ups-and-downs of the playoff defeat were a learning tool.
"I think I learned a couple lessons that game," he said. "One, not to press, being up like we were, 16-0, letting that kind of slip through our fingers there. There's no doubt in my mind that I should have played better. There are certain things I could've done to help this team win that football game, and that's going to drive me to this day.
"I think number two was the importance of a home playoff game and allowing ourselves to -- well, it might be a little different this year -- but having a home playoff game where you do have that energy, that excitement on your side and you can feel the momentum swing. It was very apparent during the game you felt the momentum kind of change and it sucked to be on the other side of that, for once. I learned a lot from that game. Still, every time I see highlights or whatever from it, it just kind of makes me cringe because I know we should have been put in a better position and I know I had a huge part in that. I take it very hard on myself, and I'm using that to motivate me."
With the Bills sporting a solid squad up-and-down the roster, Buffalo is expected to compete to overthrow the New England Patriots in the AFC East and finally earn that home playoff game. Things might be different due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, but having a home game in Buffalo in January would be beneficial for other reasons.
First, Allen has to improve in Year 3. The Bills have buffered the strong-armed QB with multiple weapons in 2020, including importing star wideout Stefon Diggs. Now Allen has to learn from that playoff loss and ensure a collapse like that doesn't happen again on his watch.