Josh Allen couldn’t find a receiver, but he bought time, continued scanning the field and found Cole Beasley for a 14-yard touchdown pass, giving the Buffalo Bills a lead early in the second quarter.
The advantage didn’t last long.
Allen completed just 47% of his passes (16 of 34) for 169 yards and two touchdowns and fumbled three times, losing one, as the Philadelphia Eagles waltzed to a 31-13 victory on a rainy and windy Sunday afternoon at New Era Field.
“They were making some good plays on defense but we weren’t helping ourselves out,” Allen said. “Whether it was penalties, pre-snap, during the whistle or during the play, ultimately that rests on my shoulder.
"I have to find a way to allow ourselves to get better with moving the ball and then putting some more points on the board, and a performance like this won’t cut it.”
Allen’s turnover, on his second fumble, occurred deep in Buffalo territory and led to an Eagles touchdown in the final minute of the first half, Philadelphia’s first of four touchdowns in a span of five possessions.
“Momentum, momentum,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said.
Allen had recovered his own fumble on the third snap of the game, and left tackle Dion Dawkins recovered another Allen fumble deep in Bills territory in the fourth quarter.
“That’s a play that coach puts in my hands and I have to be better with taking care of the football,” Allen said about his second fumble. “It’s just one of those, they got a hat on it and they made a play when they needed to and it’s one that shouldn’t happen. That’s one that’s in my control that I can’t let happen.”
Allen refused to suggest that the weather played a major factor in his turnovers.
The Eagles fumbled twice, losing one on special teams.
“I felt like we were still able to throw the ball," Allen said. "I don’t think (the weather) really affected the play-calling or anything like that, but it was tough for both sides, and that’s how the game of football is, and especially how you know it’s going to be in Buffalo at times. So I don’t think it played a huge factor for us.”
Allen entered the game with an NFL-best 139.6 passer rating in the fourth quarter this season, and also led the league with four game-winning drives. But while Buffalo remained within striking distance, trailing Philadelphia 24-13 at the start of the fourth, the Bills failed to pick up a first down until less than a minute remained.
Allen completed just 3 of 13 passes for 9 yards over the team's final six possessions. The Eagles held the ball for 11:56 in the fourth quarter.
He was sacked four times, the third time in seven games that he has been sacked that often.
"I think our D-line did a good job stopping the run, especially early, then when they did get opportunities to pass we rushed the passer really well," Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "We played a lot of man-to-man and the corners on the outside held up, nickel, everybody else held up in coverage. I thought we adjusted well, battled well and then our offense did a great job, too, sustaining drives, keeping us off the field and keeping us fresh. I think it was just a complete team win."