JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – CBS analyst Boomer Esiason was pointed in his critique of Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll after Buffalo's 9-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While not discounting how prolific the Daboll-Allen duo was in last year's run to the AFC championship game, Esiason questioned the coordinator's messaging to Allen this year, relating to how the quarterback has a tendency to make risky decisions to give his team a spark.
For the second straight game, the Buffalo Bills were lost offensively in the first half. Only this time, there were no answers to be found after halftime.
"Now all of a sudden, what is Brian Daboll doing?" the former NFL quarterback asked. "Doesn’t he have to sit down with the quarterback and just say, ‘Hey, look man, this is what we’re trying to do. This is our plan. You don’t have to do this all yourself.' "
In addition to scaling back responsibility for Allen, Esiason suggested a commitment to establishing the run – with ball carriers other than Allen, who's shouldered 57 of the team's 216 carries this year.
"They’re a Northeast team, they’re an outdoor team," Esiason continued. "They should be thinking about running the ball late in the season. That’s how you win games in inclement weather. You’ve got an all-weather quarterback. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a superstar. He’s a great player. But right now, in the last couple of weeks, I don’t know what's going on up there.
Jacksonville linebacker Josh Allen sacked, intercepted and recovered a fumble by Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen in the Bills’ face-plant against the previously one-win Jaguars.
"They just need to get back to calling the right plays, but someone has to hold the offensive coordinator accountable and say, 'Come on in here. Let’s sit down and talk about what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong. And how we can get it back to the right side of the ledger.' "
Daboll's offense hasn't sustained the lofty numbers the Bills' had accrued before the bye week. The Bills exceeded 400 yards of total offense in the four games preceding the bye, but mustered 351 versus Miami and 336 against Jacksonville.
After going 3-for-4 in the red zone last week, Buffalo failed on just two opportunities against Jacksonville. The Bills set a season low in several offensive categories Sunday, including points, first downs and rushing yards.
Phil Simms, Esiason's fellow studio analyst, countered by saying the Bills' offensive system cannot be easily tweaked to accommodate a power run game.
"Their run game is the short passing game," the longtime Giants quarterback said. "That’s what they’re doing. It's all on Josh Allen. I don’t know if you can turn this team around and make it physical enough to start running the football. The offensive line is used to pass protecting quick."
Sean McDermott’s suffered his worst loss in his career as the Buffalo Bills' head coach, falling to a 1-6 Jacksonville Jaguars team ranked 27th in scoring, 28th in points allowed and second last in turnover differential.
Coach Sean McDermott acknowledged the team's struggles in the run game during his postgame news conference.
"That’s a huge issue right now for us," he said. "We've got to be able to run the football when it’s handed off. Nine carries for 22 yards (from the running backs), that’s not good enough."