BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Once again the Bills struggled in the third quarter, this time in a 32-30 loss to the Cardinals.
The Bills kept Arizona out of the end zone in the first half and took a 16-9 lead at halftime. They came out and built on that lead as Josh Allen found Cole Beasley for a 22-yard touchdown to take a 23-9 lead. But the third quarter continues to be a weakness for the Bills.
The Cardinals scored 17 straight points before Allen’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs with 34 seconds left. It looked like Allen was going to be able to add another fourth quarter comeback to his resume but Kyler Murray did Kyler Murray things and on the run threw a Hail Mary that DeAndre Hopkins came down with even against three Bills defenders for a 43-yard touchdown with two seconds left in the game.
After the game both Sean McDermott and Allen said it shouldn’t have come down to that one play. And if things hadn’t gone so south in the third quarter once again, it probably wouldn’t have.
So what is the issue during this time in the game?
“If I knew I think it’d be better,” Allen said.
“That’s game plan adjustments the defense is making and we’ve gotta find ways to figure it out faster. That’s myself going and talking with the quarterbacks and Coach Dorsey on the sideline and figure out what they’re trying to do so I can have a better sense of what to do and how to get our answers.”
The Bills have been outscored 76-30 in the third quarter in ten games this season, a trend they’re looking to fix after the bye week.
“We’re aware of it, I’m aware of it. I think that’s a study for the off week coming up here in the bye week to really dive down and into that and look into it and make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure that gets better,” McDermott explained.
Against the Cardinals, the Bills had five drives in the third quarter. They punted three times, Allen threw an interception and then they scored a touchdown on one.
“It’s tough having a week off and knowing this is the last time you’re gonna play for the next two weeks but there’s a lot of good things to learn from on this tape. You know I think offensively in that third quarter we stalled a little bit and we gotta find ways to get going a little better, too many punts, two turnovers and we can’t do that, Allen said.
“That first half we had a pretty good thing going moving the ball and putting some field goals up. That late third quarter, early fourth quarter we gotta be better and find ways to move the ball and that’s on me.”
The Bills have also been shutout in the third quarter five out of their ten games so far. Now they head into the bye week with a lot to work on from this one.
“I hate losing, I take things very personally and I could have been better for the team tonight and it shouldn’t have happened, that last play,” Allen explained.