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Why are Josh Allen and the Bills in a funk following Monday's fight against the Patriots?

Why are Josh Allen and the Bills in a funk following Monday's fight against the Patriots?

This week, the Buffalo Bills undoubtedly have the Patriots' respect.

After all, the Bills, who went 13-3 last year, beat the Patriots in the regular season, and reached conference championship game, are 7-4 in Monday night's game against the Patriots. They are standing No. 2 in the NFL in points scored and points allowed, and they are beating opponents with six wins by at least 18 points.

From top to bottom, just a good football team who does everything perfectly, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. They're statically at the top of the league in categories in every area, and they deserve to be, he said.

Except for something about the Bills, they aren't sitting right. Despite their dominance on paper, they've had a funk. The Bills have three convincing victories over the Dolphins, Jets, and Saints, but also an unsettling 9-6 defeat to the Jaguars and a 41-15 defeat by the Colts at home.

The losses have pushed the Bills to a half-game behind the surprising 8-4 Patriots in the AFC East, and they are sitting No. 6 in the AFC playoffs, revealing a few flaws.

The Bills' offensive line, which was bullied by Colts running back Jonathan Taylor and his offensive line, has been surprisingly sloppy in the previous four weeks. After just five turnovers in their first seven games, the Bills have 11 in the last four weeks.

This team, as talented as they are, is playing about as poorly as you ever imagined they could, Bills great Steve Tasker, who now hosts the One Bills Live daily radio show. Theyre simply playing inconsistently. The Bills are still loaded offensively, but they just havent been able to put it together as they were last year.

Josh Allen, the fourth-year quarterback, is putting up big numbers once more, with 3,071 yards and 25 touchdown passes, plus 383 rushing yards and three more touchdowns. Allen's 99.1 passer rating is 10th in the NFL, and his 69 rushing attempts are third among QBs.

Belichick stated, "It's really, really amazing to witness how he's grown there." "It's just unbelievable how wonderful he's become."

However, Allen has thrown an interception in four straight games, with seven picks in that stretch, and a lost fumble. Allen now faces a Patriots defense that is second in the NFL with 25 takeaways, including four in each of the previous two games.

Allen's inconsistency, according to Tasker, is due to his offensive line, which has only had its top five players for two of 11 games (a win over the Chiefs and a loss to the Titans in Weeks 5 and six).

It's been difficult for the running game and the pass game,' Tasker said. Josh knows he's the greatest player out there, and he sometimes tries to do too much. Like, they'll do an RPO [run-pass option], and he'll just keep the ball, thinking, I've got to get this myself, because the running game hasn't been good enough, and some of them lead to turnovers.

The Bills are optimistic that Monday night will see their top five linemen. Left guard Jon Feliciano returned to practice from injured reserve this week and can be activated before the game, while right tackle Spencer Brown returned from the COVID list.

I would look for maybe a little more consistency offensively, but there's no guarantee of that since they haven't played together in a long time, Tasker added.

Defensively, the Bills have fewer issues, while the Colts clearly demonstrated their difficulties in preventing a power run game. But the Bills' defense, in its fourth year under Sean McDermott and coordinator Leslie Frazier, has allowed the fewest yards in the NFL, the second-fewest points, and is tied with the Patriots for second with 25 takeaways.

The Bills employ a complex, zone-based coverage system that includes many moving parts before and after the snap.

We dont play a group that is more connected than this one, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. All 11 guys know exactly what their job is on the call, and they never make a mistake, it seems.

They simply don't give up many simple plays, and they're definitely one of the finest teams we've ever played every year in terms of limiting large production.

But the Bills are now reeling on defense today. Star cornerback TreDavious White, who missed only one game since abrasion in five NFL seasons, was put on injured reserve this week after tearing an ACL during last week's victory over the Saints.

The Bills have a few youngsters to fill White's name, but replacing a two-time Pro Bowler will not be easy.

We don't really know what they're going to look like without him, because we've never been without him, Tasker said. He never misses a day, thats something I think the Patriots will considerhow big of a dropoff there is out there.

The Patriots are unquestionably underestimating the Bills, especially considering the AFC East title on the line.

It's going to be a battle, Patriots safety Devin McCourty stated. Both teams understand what's at stake. We have to play one of our finest games to have a chance on Monday night, he added.

The Bills, on the other hand, had better hope they get better offensive line play, and Allen doesn't hurt them with too much hero ball.

Theyve turned the ball over when theyve had difficulties," Tasker stated. This game, for Buffalo, will come down to Josh. It's funny to say, but he's got to play a little more like Mac Jones simply take what they give you and move the ball.

Ben Volin can be reached at. twitter @ Ben Volin may be reached at.

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