It only takes one or two missteps to really change the perspective of any NFL team in any season. Such has been the case for the Buffalo Bills who suddenly find themselves in third place in the AFC East and back-to-back losses.

It’s been bad enough for coaches around the country to use the Bills as an example of why things “aren’t as bad as they appear.”

That’s what Texas Longhorns HC Steve Sarkisian – who lost a pivotal game to TCU this weekend – did on Monday when pointing out that the Bills have not scored a second-half touchdown in four consecutive games.

There’s a lot to digest there. And while I’d love to dive into Sarkisian’s career in the NFL to throw out multiple sarcastic comments, let’s stick with the Bills here.

FOUR straight games with no second-half touchdowns? They’ve been competitive games, too. The one exception could be the win over the Green Bay Packers but even on that one, the Bills failed to put their rival away. If anything, the Packers put themselves away by refusing to throw the football.

How is that four-game mark even possible when you’ve got Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Dawson Knox?

Well, three red zone interceptions in the fourth quarter over the last three games are likely part of the explanation.

Red zone passing and rushing have been inexplicably bad for the Bills over the last three games. They’ve racked up eight passing yards in second halves in the red zone over that span, per Cover 1 on Twitter.

And while Allen is right to take most of the blame for his questionable decision-making in several of these plays. But offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey’s work should also be under the microscope here.

Obviously, Dorsey has been mostly good for the Bills. The team still boasts one of the best offenses in EPA/play, DVOA, and most metrics you can think of. Even on Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, they averaged 6.8 yards per play.

But the red zone problems are apparent. Josh Allen is 18th in the NFL in completion percentage (51%) inside the 20 among quarterbacks with at least 17 attempts, per Pro Football Reference.

As for the rushing efficiencies in the red zone, they’ve been unchanged. Unless it’s Allen taking defenses by surprise with his legs, the Bills have been unable to get anything going with their running backs.

And it’s not just red zone trouble. Allen’s passer rating for the season sits at 96.6 but goes down to 73.4 in the fourth quarter. He’s completed only 55% of his passes in such scenarios while recording two touchdowns, three interceptions, and seven sacks.

Simply put, it’s something that the Bills must take care of if they’re to be the team we’ve been hyping up since the offseason. You can’t fail to score second-half touchdowns and expect to win consistently in the NFL.


Will the Bills win the AFC East?