3 Bills takeaways from disappointing Week 1 home loss to Steelers
The Buffalo Bills had a disappointing Week 1, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-16. Josh Allen is coming off of a breakout season where he finished second in MVP voting. The Bills also reached the AFC Championship Game before eventually losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Yet they were stunned at home against the Steelers and they now need to prioritize improving after their loss. Here are three takeaways after the Bills’ opening game defeat.
3. The defense looked good
While most people think of the Bills’ offense as the elite unit, their defense was great on Sunday. The team may have lost, but their defense looked strong, especially in the first three quarters. They only allowed six points through those periods but unfortunately allowed 17 in the fourth quarter.
It was still a great showing from the defense. Mario Addison and Jordan Poyer had sacks in the game, but the Bills didn’t create a turnover. They could have beat the Steelers with slightly better offense due to the defensive effort put forward.
2. The offensive line needs to improve
One of the biggest takeaways of the game is how the Bills’ offensive line performed. They gave up three sacks, five tackles for loss, and eight quarterback hits. It was hard for Allen to get going as he was constantly under pressure from the Steelers’ defense.
While the Steelers’ defense was great, it was unforgivable for the Bills to allow that many quarterback pressures. Their Week 2 matchup is against the Miami Dolphins, which will be a great test for the offensive line. The Dolphins had zero sacks against the New England Patriots but had nine quarterback hits. Look for the Bills to emphasize giving Allen a clean pocket to throw in their next outing.
1. The offense needs to run more
Although the Bills’ offensive system is pass-heavy, they need to run the ball more. They struggled in the passing game against the Steelers while their running game was solid in the limited attempts. Running back Devin Singletary had 11 carries for 72 yards, which is a 6.5 yard average per carry.
A more balanced attack in their next game would help them improve offensively. Obviously, passing will still be the offense’s focal point, but adding more runs will help the offense flow better.
The team has a lot to improve on moving forward in the season. Allen and company have the talent to make it to the Super Bowl but they won’t make it there with how they played in Week 1. The Chiefs are the AFC favorites but they are not the only threat to the Bills making a Super Bowl run. Despite also losing their opening match, the Cleveland Browns appear to be a tough contender as well.
Allen will need to get back to the level he played last campaign for them to have a shot. Last season, Allen threw for 4,544 yards as well as 37 touchdowns. He was instrumental for the team’s deep run in the NFL Playoffs. Stefon Diggs was another integral player for coach Sean McDermott as their top wide receiver. He led the league in receiving yards with 1,535 yards and had eight touchdowns.
The Bills will need them to step up and improve as a whole to be a contender this season.