3 Mistakes Josh Allen, Bills Must Avoid vs. Joe Burrow, Bengals in 2023 NFL Playoffs

Joe TanseyJanuary 18, 2023

3 Mistakes Josh Allen, Bills Must Avoid vs. Joe Burrow, Bengals in 2023 NFL Playoffs

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    ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 15: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks to pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

    The Buffalo Bills did not play their cleanest 60 minutes in the wild-card round win over the Miami Dolphins.

    Some of the mistakes Josh Allen and Co. made could carry over into the divisional round battle with the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Allen himself has been the root of some of Buffalo's issues, as he has committed some untimely turnovers.

    Buffalo's star quarterback needs to protect the ball better to ensure passage into the AFC Championship Game.

    The Bills' overall approach on offense needs to be sharper so that they do not fall into a hole of punting right away and shifting the momentum into Cincinnati's favor.

Josh Allen's Turnovers

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    ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 15: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills scrambles during the first half of the game against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

    Josh Allen has been a bit careless with the ball over the last few weeks.

    Buffalo's signal-caller has five interceptions over his last three games. He has six fumbles in the previous four contests.

    Allen threw two picks against the Miami Dolphins. Those turnovers led to 10 points for the Dolphins. He also had a fumble that resulted in a Miami defensive touchdown.

    Allen must avoid the turnovers against Cincinnati. The Bengals are a better team than the Dolphins and will make the Bills pay for the mistakes and the momentum swings that come with them.

    Buffalo luckily went 4-2 this season in games in which Allen had multiple interceptions, but the Bills do not want to risk their luck against a team of Cincinnati's talent.

Avoid Offensive Lulls

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    ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 15: Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills looks on against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter of the game in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
    Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

    Buffalo started its wild-card round game with two touchdowns and a field goal on the first four drives.

    The Bills then had three punts, three turnovers and a field goal in the next seven drives.

    Buffalo responded with a pair of third-quarter scores and then punted twice in the fourth quarter.

    Sean McDermott's team needs to avoid the offensive lulls it experienced against the Dolphins. Joe Burrow and the Bengals are better equipped to take advantage of those lulls and turn the momentum in their favor.

    Allen and Co. would love to have another fast start, but they can improve on the consistency of their drives to make Cincinnati feel uncomfortable for the majority of the game.

Letting the Cincinnati Playmakers Loose

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    CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 15: Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after scoring a 7 yard touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Paycor Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    One of Buffalo's downfalls in last year's loss in the divisional round to the Kansas City Chiefs was the inability to stop the best playmakers on the other side.

    Tyreek Hill produced 11 catches for 150 yards and a score. Travis Kelce had eight catches for 96 yards and a score.

    Buffalo was able to answer most of Kansas City's offensive production, but it would prefer to have Sunday's game against Cincinnati turn into a different style of game.

    The Bills would rather get to Burrow in the pocket and keep Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins quiet in the passing game.

    The AFC East side defended Hill and Jaylen Waddle well in the wild-card round. It was also helped out by some drops, Waddle dealing with an injury and Skylar Thompson playing quarterback.

    Containing Burrow and Chase is a tougher task, but if the Bills succeed at it, they will be headed to the AFC Championship Game.

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