It was an ugly game. A game that the Buffalo Bills had no business losing 29-25 to the 1-5 New England Patriots on Sunday. Playing catch-up all game, they finally secured the lead late but McDermott’s defense could not hold up, allowing the Patriots to drive down the field for the game-winning touchdown.
This loss drops for Bills to 4-3 and leaves many more questions than answers for the team that is clearly better than this. While it’s “Any Given Sunday”, the Bills still have to show up and play rather than going through the motions, at least that’s the perception.
The only upside is that there did not appear to be any concerning injuries coming out of Sunday’s game. Below are any injuries and observations following the loss.
Note: Make sure to check back after Monday’s press conference for any additional injury updates.
DT Jordan Phillips & S Micah Hyde (Wind knocked out)
Both Phillips and Hyde were injured on the play below when Hyde was getting blocked and Phillips ran into him, sending both to the ground. Both players briefly required medical attention from the training staff but immediately returned to the game.
This doesn’t appear much more than getting the wind knocked out of them, but it’s never great when two big contributors are down, even momentarily.
This will be an abbreviated update due to time and the fact the next game is Thursday.
Prior injuries include Spencer Brown- right knee, Josh Allen-right shoulder, Kaiir Elam- ankle, Quintin Morris- right high-ankle, Ed Oliver- toe.
LB Terrel Bernard right knee injury
LB Baylon Spector- hamstring, possible aggravation.
TE Dawson Knox- right wrist surgery, more info coming.
LB Von Miller knee
TE Dalton Kincaid (Concussion)
I noticed that Dalton Kincaid was wearing a Q-Collar on Sunday, the same device that AJ Klein and Taylor Rapp both use to prevent concussions. This is a new addition following his concussion in Week 5 that saw him miss last week’s contest against the New York Giants.
The device is meant to help trap blood in the brain by applying minor pressure on the jugular vein and cushion the brain with fluid during hits, thus reducing the impact from hits to the head.
Whether this was of his own doing or suggested by training staff or even his agent, it certainly can’t hurt things to maximize his health so that he can be available when it matters most.
QB Josh Allen (Right Shoulder)
Josh Allen had a rough day. 27/41 for 265 with 2 TDs and 1 INT. Normally, a decent stat line with a 65.8 completion percentage, but he was coming off the right shoulder injury sustained against the New York Giants. By video, it appeared to be an AC joint sprain and Allen even said himself that it was a more pain management thing earlier in the week which fits the limitations seen with AC joint sprains.
He likely had an injection into the shoulder to manage the pain but the concern coming off the AC joint sprain is the accuracy and power. That was evident in Sunday’s contest. Multiple balls were overthrown, off-target, and one was intercepted.
I know the game was windy and that can have an impact on throwing accuracy, sure. I trust Thad’s assessment in this case as he was physically present in the stadium, but this is why Josh Allen was drafted to power through the elements, a strong arm to overcome the wind, rain, and snow that he would see every year. A shoulder injury can impact both power and accuracy.
In the tweet above, I noted how there was a concern for accuracy coming off an AC joint sprain and that the team should have leaned on the run more. 24 rushes for 81 yards wasn’t great, especially with the only touchdown coming from a Josh Allen QB sneak.
The Bills have the best shot at winning when Josh Allen plays, injured or not. We’ve seen that, especially last year with his elbow injury. He absolutely should have played Sunday, but configure the game plan around not having to throw it 41 times.
I know that both Josh Allen and Sean McDermott both denied that the shoulder impacted his ability to play as seen above. It’s obvious they will never admit it, but the results show otherwise.
Fortunately, this shoulder injury appears less severe than his one in 2020 to his non-throwing shoulder, but I still have concerns that he will still struggle with accuracy heading into Thursday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The mini-bye following the game will help recovery, but dropping these close games as injuries have piled up in previous weeks doesn’t help the results at the end of the season.
An NFL season is about adversity, the Bills dealt with that 100 times over last year and still finished 13-3. They may lose several more games than they did last year, but they have several tough teams still on the schedule including the Eagles, Chiefs, Cowboys, Bengals, and another date with the Dolphins. Add in the Chargers who are always a threat.
This loss hurts more especially with those games coming up. I know this sounds pessimistic, but this is a team that is too good and should win most of their games, not hover around .500. Let’s hope the team corrects the issues very soon and gets back in the win column.
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images