Could've and should've

December 03, 2018 - 10:43 am

Josh Allen had a day in Miami on Sunday. He shattered his own record, set just last week, for rushing yards by a Buffalo Bills quarterback in a game. He made some very nice throws, and missed on some others. Nothing alarming there either way. What was really impressive was how well Allen performed in the fourth quarter.

Allen completed 9-of-13 passes in the final quarter for 113 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 58 more yards, and gave the Bills a chance to win. It was, no doubt, an encouraging day for the rookie quarterback.

Since the game ended, my Twitter mentions have been overrun by fans upset that I thought Allen didn’t make a good throw on the final attempt to win the game.

Couple things...

Does that tweet make it look like I’m blaming Allen and not being critical of Charles Clay? Yes, yes it does. Is that how I feel about the play? No, it’s not. Clay shares blame for sure, maybe most of it.

Could Clay have caught the ball? Absolutely. Should he have caught the ball? Probably. Could Allen have made a better throw? Yes. Should he have made a better throw? Maybe.

Yes, Allen does way more on the play and had basically carried the Bills through the afternoon and given them a chance to win. Clay is, pretty much, standing in the end zone while Allen is going all whirling dervish trying to find an opportunity to throw the ball. I’d caution you to not confuse the effort Allen makes on the play to get the throw off with it being a good throw. Was it good enough for Clay to make a play on? Yes. Could it have been better? Yes.

That’s all. In pointing that out, I’m not saying Allen didn’t have a good day. Merely that it could have been a great day if he and Clay find their way to a touchdown there.

What I find interesting about the play and the criticism that follows is how fans tend to assign blame. Clay has been paid a lot of money since he joined the Bills and hasn’t produced to our liking. So it’s pretty convenient to blame him entirely for not catching the pass and, ultimately, a Bills loss.

Meanwhile, our hopes are wrapped around Allen, and it was an encouraging day overall for the kid and we want very badly for him to be the answer to all of our quarterback prayers. So it’s pretty natural to defend him from any criticism and lash out at the person, in this case, me, who has the audacity to suggest he could’ve made a better throw.

None of that means that I’m definitely right and anyone who disagrees is absolutely wrong. Sometimes the obvious places fans stand to rip the guy they don’t like and defend the guy they do actually line up.

Or sometimes what is right is a little bit more nuanced than that, and who has time for nuance?

Anyways, I gave it go here. Let me know what you think.

Thanks as always for reading, listening and responding.

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