ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — High expectations surrounded the Buffalo Bills offense as many thought the high-scoring unit would pick up right where they left off. That wasn't the case in the team's opener on Sunday.
"When defenses give you opportunities, you gotta hit them," QB Josh Allen said. "We didn't have everything today."
Allen didn't look like the efficient guy Bills fans are used to seeing. He finished 30-of-51 for 270 yards, a touchdown, and lost a fumble. It wasn't the type of play you'd expect from a QB worth $258M.
"Early on, I was being too aggressive instead of finding easier things and throws," he said. "Certain situations in the game, you've gotta figure out a way to get things going. I didn't, we didn't."
But a lot of Allen's struggles came in part from the team's offensive line, which had its hands full with the Pittsburgh defense, as they allowed three sacks and eight QB hits. They accounted for six holding penalties [one was declined] and three of those came on a single drive. It's not ideal when you're trying to find some rhythm.
"That's where you're beating yourself," head coach Sean McDermott said. "We, and I, can do a better job."
"This game is a game of momentum and for the most part, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot today," center Mitch Morse added. "It's about being accountable for each other and to the team. They got the better of us today, plain and simple."
While the line struggled to keep the Pittsburgh defense away from Allen, the unit as a whole wasn't as sharp and efficient. The unit was no. 1 in the NFL when it came to 3rd down conversions in 2020. On Sunday, they converted just 8-of-18 3rd down attempts and were just 1-of-4 in the red zone, settling for three field goals.
The wide receiving corps was led by Stefon Diggs [nine receptions for 69 yards] and Beasley [eight receptions for 60 yards] who were targeted a combined 27 times.
"There weren't many times we got 1-on-1s," wide receiver Cole Beasley said about the wide receiving corps and their efficiency. "They definitely had a good scheme, and they made it tough."
Many look at the box score and think this Bills offense could've done a lot more. The players know that, but they also know there's no need to panic.
"We know we didn't play our best offensively, but we know what we have with this group so there's not gonna be in any drop of confidence," Beasley said. "We're still gonna try and go out there and score 40 every game and we feel like we can accomplish that if we do it how we do."
"We've been here before. The expectations are high and that comes with the territory," McDermott said. "That said you've gotta stay humble and hungry in your approach each week. We've gotta learn from this as coaches and players and get ready to go."