Bills rookie QB Josh Allen learns tough lesson at Lambeau
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Josh Allen’s two-week trip through the NFC North ended with a resounding dud of a game.
No highlight-reel hurdles over linebackers for the rookie quarterback. No touchdown runs. Heck, the Buffalo Bills could barely move the ball Sunday.
A week after helping the Bills post a surprising road win over the Minnesota Vikings, Allen looked every bit like a first-year player making his third career start in a 22-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Allen accounted for three turnovers, including two interceptions and a fumble late in the fourth quarter that stood on review. He was 16 of 33 for 151 yards.
The Bills had a much tougher time on the road in the NFC North, a week after a stunning win at heavily favored Minnesota.
“I take this one on my shoulders,” Allen said. “We can only go as far as the quarterback goes.”
And that wasn’t very far at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay had decisive edges in total offense (423-145) and first downs (22-11). They sacked Allen seven times, with first-year coordinator Mike Pettine able to produce more pressure playing with 16-point lead at the half.
Even the return of running back LeSean McCoy, who missed a game because of a rib injury, didn’t help the Bills (1-3).
“We were out of rhythm on offense. We needed to find some consistency,” coach Sean McDermott said.
Allen looked out of sorts for much of the afternoon. Under pressure out of the pocket late in the second quarter, Allen heaved a high pass into the middle of the end zone that was picked off easily by Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander.
Green Bay could sense that they were getting to the rookie signal caller.
“We knew we had to start fast and get him second-guessing himself,” Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry said. “Once that became evident, we continued to keep our foot on the gas and keep rolling.”
McDermott had some soothing words for Allen after the end-zone pick.
“It was just real subtle. He understands that I’m a rookie and I have growing pains,” Allen said.
He was coming off the high of the big win last week in Minnesota against what was considered one of the top defenses in the league. Allen was 15 of 22 for 196 and a touchdown pass against the Vikings, while running 10 times for 39 yards and two scores.
He learned a hard lesson on Sunday against the Packers.
“But at the same time, I hold myself to higher standards, so I don’t care if I’m a rookie or been in the league for 10 years, it’s something I can’t do,” Allen added. “It’s something I’m going to learn from and I’m not going to do it again.”