Josh Allen on the Bills: 'This is a very inspired group right now'


Staff member

When Josh Allen walked around the Buffalo Bills facility this week, he felt just happy to be here – not in a complacent or surprised sense, but rather in a rejuvenated way.

“There’s a lot of teams that aren’t in the playoffs, a lot of guys that aren’t practicing today, so this is a very inspired group right now,” Allen said Wednesday. “We just love that we’re able to come in here and do what we love to do.”

The Bills are doing more than that, though. Allen said they’re spinning that inspired nature and that love of the game forward.

“You want to peak at the right time,” Allen said. “I think this football team, we still got our best ball to play, but we’re trending in the right direction. We’re very fortunate to be playing another game.”

The next game, of course, comes Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Wild Card Weekend at Highmark Stadium.

Last season, Allen set his career high in passing yards (424) against the Steelers in Week 5. He also threw the longest pass of his career, a 98-yard touchdown to Gabe Davis. While he found success in the 38-3 throttling of the Steelers, Allen doesn’t think there’s a ton he can pull from that contest 15 months later.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think scheme-wise, I wouldn’t say they’re totally different from that. Now personnel, they’re a little bit different, but they’re playing at a very high level right now. I know they ruled (edge rusher T.J.) Watt out, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear.

“They’ve got a very good defensive line. One of the better players interior that’s played this game in Cam Heyward. He’s an animal. (Alex) Highsmith on the left edge, he’s playing at as high a level as anybody in the league right now.”

But Allen’s playing at an extremely high level himself. After the win over Miami, in which he threw for 359 yards on 30 of 38 passing, Allen said he “felt like the ball was coming out of my hands the best all year.” He hopes to keep that going, and it comes in part from feeling healthier. Allen was listed as a full participant in Wednesday’s walkthrough, though still listed with a neck issue on the injury report. He’s no longer listed with his right shoulder or right finger. He also credited interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

“It’s something you can definitely try to replicate,” Allen said Wednesday. “Obviously, throughout the season bumps and bruises here and there and sometimes affecting mechanics, just trying to find what fits best, but felt like this last week just mechanically felt as sound as I’ve ever been really throwing the football.

“So, again, just making sure we’re practicing good practice habits and coach Brady did a good job last week … we started doing some individual drills again, fill in the base, get back to where it needs to be, just being as balanced as I can be in my throwing motion. It felt good coming out of the hands, so just got to continue practicing those habits.”

Five straight wins at the end of the regular season have the Bills heading to the playoffs as AFC East champs once again. Mark Gaughan and Katherine Fitzgerald discuss what went right for the Bills and how they can keep things going in the postseason. Plus, we take a closer look at the "Josh Allen experience." The quarterback was able to lead his team to victory in Miami but there were some questionable decisions by Allen in the first half. Also, Mark and Katherine discuss the Pittsburgh Steelers and explain why they pose a threat when they play the Bills on Sunday in Orchard Park.

Brady echoed that.

“I think just in general, you go through a full season, and you’re taking certain hits or, you know, your body’s not feeling just as perfect as it was the beginning of the year or sometimes some of the mechanics or the fundamentals, you might start overcompensating for some of the things,” Brady said Monday.

“He has a great understanding of his mechanics and his form and what he needs to do, and kind of change when he needs to, based upon how he’s feeling or potentially some injuries or whatnot. But I thought he spun the ball great in practice this past week, so it was no surprise seeing him pregame and ... at the end of the game, how he was kind of dialed into throwing to it.”

Allen entered December with a completion percentage of 68.1% for the first three months of the season. In December, his completion percentage dropped to 55.6%.

He bounced back against Miami, completing 79%, his third-best figure for a game this season.

He threw two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions against the Dolphins. The picks came on third-and-5 from the Miami 5, and fourth-and-2 from the Miami 35, with the latter caught in the end zone for a touchback. Even though the Dolphins didn’t get great field position from either interception, Allen felt the momentum shift with the turnovers. While he’s still trying to maintain his style of play, he’s looking to cut back on those moments.

“I’m trying to do whatever I can to help the team win,” Allen said. “Same time, I don’t want to throw them; it’s not fun looking at the stat sheet and seeing interceptions whether it’s before the half, on a Hail Mary attempt or long fourth down, it still doesn’t feel great. And interceptions, sometimes it’s just momentum.

“It’s something that you can’t see but something you can feel and sometimes it gives them momentum and again don’t want to limit our chances to score points and I’ve done that a couple of times throughout the season and that’s never any fun.”