Bills’ Josh Allen says points ‘will be at a premium’ vs. Patriots

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The winds won’t be as bad this time around against the New England Patriots. But the Buffalo Bills can’t just rely on the weather to change their fortunes on Sunday.

In Week 16’s meeting, the Bills (8-6) and Patriots (9-5) will be playing for the driver’s seat in the AFC East title race. For Buffalo, less wind will help their offense.

However, when the Bills pack up for New England this weekend, they must bring a better plan for one area in particular as well: The red zone. In the first matchup, a 14-10 win for the Pats, Buffalo was 1-for-4 on offense there.

Rarely ones to speak their minds much, even Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott and quarterback Josh Allen did not mince words on the need for improvement this time around.

“You got to be able to score touchdowns in the red zone,” McDermott said via video conference.

“Certainly the weather last time was unique to some extent,” McDermott added. “At the end of the day, we have to execute whatever game plan we have and whatever weather situation it is every week.”

In this department, it’s going to be a team effort. In Week 13, it wasn’t just on Allen that the Bills only converted 25 percent of their red zone trips into touchdowns. On one occasion, he had almost no chance when he was sacked when Patriots defender Matthew Judon blew things up.

But Allen did put some responsibility on his own shoulders.

“It’s being smart with the football,” Allen said via video conference. “Myself, making the right decisions. Getting out of our bad plays and into a more manageable, team-friendly situation.”

“We’ve got to convert opportunities when we get down there. We know how much points will be at a premium this game,” he added.

Also proving the weather wasn’t just to blame for Buffalo’s struggles last time is the numbers.

The Patriots defense is the second-best in the league in red zone defense (45.9%).

To their credit, the Bills have improved their red zone offense in recent weeks. Buffalo has jumped up to ranking as the No. 12 offense in terms of red zone efficiency (60.7%).

Winds or not, the Bills has to have a game plan to matchB whatever ideas the Pats have.

“We’ve got to be ready for whatever they throw at us,” Allen said. “Coverage wise, they know and understand their type of coverages, what leverages to play, when and when not to fall off on certain route combinations, and their route recognition is extremely, extremely good.”

“And they got some guys that can just get after the quarterback,” Allen, who knows that all too well, also added.

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