Josh Allen doesn’t have many good memories from his first ever NFL playoff game.
He lost a key fumble, nearly gave up another on bizarre lateral attempt, took 33 yards in losses on back to back 4th quarter sacks and even tried to hit his fullback 50 yards downfield in double coverage.
Also, the Bills blew a 16-0 lead and were beaten in overtime by the Texans.
Allen said after that game the negative feeling would last until he put on pads again this season. He admitted on Tuesday that the pain still lingers.
“If I could change it, I obviously would, but I’m glad I can’t,” Allen said.
He’s glad because that defeat taught Allen a few things about himself and his game. It’s a part of the continuing education he’s received every day during his three NFL seasons.
There are a few specific mistakes Allen hopes to avoid this postseason.
“I think the main lesson was not to press. Understand the situation we were in,” Allen said. “Taking it one play at at a time. Not getting too high or too low. Whatever happens in the flow of the game, that next play, you gotta let it go. You gotta focus on the task at hand. I was able to learn a lot from (the loss to Houston) and, hopefully, carry that experience into Saturday’s game.”
Allen believes the next natural step in his development is to prove he has improved from last year’s Wild Card round defeat. It’s not much different from all the other failings he once had as a younger player, but have now erased. His teammates see this Allen all the time.
“That’s just the type of person Josh is,” John Brown said. “He’s big on criticizing himself for bad things, when you make a bad play. It sticks with him until he gets back on the field. That’s just the mindset he has as a quarterback.”
It’s a mindset that’s worked out well for Allen so far. That even goes for the moments like the one in Houston that haven’t worked out well.
Allen still does lament the reads he could have changed or the things he could have done differently, but he is confident this year will end better.
“Without failure,” he said. “People don’t know success.”