Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold faceoff for the third time in their young NFL careers Sunday afternoon. The pair of highly-touted signal-callers both enter their pivotal third seasons in the NFL.
Before looking at their history when facing off against each other, let’s get the middling details out of the way. We are not examining the 2019 Bills-Jets Week 17 matchup, as the Bills did not have anything to gain in their playoff pursuits and sent Allen to the beach early in the game. Allen missed the 2018 Week 10 contest with an elbow injury.
Game 1 | 2018 Week 14 | New York 27, Buffalo 23
A combination of poor decision making, questionable coaching, and a failure to make a big play at the right time contributed to the Bills downfall in this matchup. It was also a game that gave viewers a glimpse into the type of quarterback that Darnold could turn out to be when conditions fall in his favor.
The Bills started the game well enough. Allen opened the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run. They jumped to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter. Allen’s sole mistake during the quarter was when he tried to scramble, ultimately losing a fumble. Buffalo’s offense seemed to be in control. However, Allen could not get the Bills back into the end zone, as the Bills accepted field goal attempts and punts in lieu of scoring. Allen went on to throw two interceptions during the game, including one with just over a minute left as the Bills tried to make a run to win the game. Allen ended the game 18-of-36 for 206 passing yards. He had a great day on the ground, rushing for 101 yards on nine carries. However, the three turnovers and lack of getting Buffalo back into the end zone was problematic for the Bills.
Darnold, for his part, did just enough for the Jets to keep them close during the first half. The Jets, even though they were outplayed, entered halftime down 17-13. Darnold even missed a series, re-aggravating a foot injury. Darnold’s big push was in the fourth quarter. He made perfect passes to Robby Anderson, including a 37-yard pass right after the two-minute warning to bring New York deep into Bills territory. The pass, which floated over cornerback Tre’Davious White, put the Jets in the perfect position to complete their late-game push. This setup a rushing touchdown by Elijah McGuire and the Jets took the lead for good. Darnold finished the day 16-of-24 for 170 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and one interception.
— LastWordOnNFL (@LastWordOnNFL) December 9, 2018