Through nine games, there is a common thread with the 2019 Buffalo Bills: They haven't played a complete game. On Sunday, it cost them a win.
Levi Wallace was beaten for two touchdowns, Steven Hauschka missed two field goal attempts and Josh Allen was inconsistent in the Bills' 19-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes to lead the Browns. His touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry opened the scoring. Rashard Higgins caught a touchdown pass with 1:44 to go for the eventual game-winning score.
Josh Allen ran for two touchdowns in the loss. Tremaine Edmunds sacked Mayfield for a safety in the third quarter.
With the loss, the Bills fall to 6-3. The Browns are 3-6 and won their first home game of the season Sunday afternoon.
Here is the Buffalo Bills Week 10 report card:
Josh Allen had some good throws, especially out of the play-action. He finished with a career-best 266 passing yards. But he barely completed 50% of his passes (22 completions on 41 attempts) and nearly had a costly fumble in the red zone. Fortunately for him, Jon Feliciano was there to bail him out.
Allen needs to be better. It didn't help that the Bills' time management wasn't great at the end of the game, but he needs to play a complete game. He hasn't done that this year and while the Bills have been able to beat bad teams, they've lucked out in some of those contests. The defense isn't going to bail them out of every game. The offense and Josh Allen need to play a full 60 minutes.
The running backs weren't much of a factor in this game. (More on that decision later.) Frank Gore and Devin Singletary combined for 17 touches. That's it. A dynamic rookie and a future Hall of Famer are barely bit players in this offense. (Again, more on that later.) Singletary was productive when he ran the ball, gaining 42 yards on eight carries. Frank Gore had five carries for 12 yards.
Wide receivers/tight ends
John Brown continued to produce, chipping in with five catches for 77 yards to lead the Bills. There's no doubt he's the Bills' No. 1 receiver. Cole Beasley was close behind with four catches for 74 yards. Dawson Knox added four catches for 55 yards as the Bills' top tight end against the Browns. When Allen linked up with his wide receivers and best tight end, good things happened.
It's difficult to complain about the offensive line when Josh Allen was sacked only once and the Bills hardly ran the ball. Myles Garrett, who entered the game with 10 sacks this season, was held in check. Jon Feliciano made a great play to recover Allen's fumble and set up a touchdown.
The Bills hit Mayfield four times and brought him down twice for a sack, but both sacks were by linebackers. The defensive line, which is the first line of defense again the opponents' rushing attack, had trouble against Nick Chubb and the Browns.
Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano each had a sack, but the story of this game (again) is the Bills' porous run defense. Chubb gained 116 yards on the ground. The Browns averaged nearly six yards per carry as a team. There is something the Bills' scheme opposing teams are exposing, and it's working. The Bills so far don't have an answer, and the linebackers need to step it up to stop the run.
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Another rough game for Levi Wallace, who got beat on both of the Browns' touchdowns. He had a solid rookie season and there were high hopes he would be the answer at the Bills' No. 2 corner spot opposite Tre'Davious White. With his recent struggles, there are doubts about whether he is the player for the job. White got beat on some plays, too. Not the secondary's best day.
Kicking and punting
Corey Bojorquez had a good game with three punts inside the 20 and an average of nearly 50 yards per punt. But he wasn't the problem Sunday.
Steven Hauschka missed two field goals, including a 34-yarder that never really had a chance. He also missed a 53-yarder late in the game — the product of poor coaching and play-making. Hauschka is usually reliable. He hadn't missed a field goal between 30 and 39 yards since 2011. He made seven field goals from 50 or more yards two seasons ago, but is 0-for-3 in 2019.
Kick coverage and returns
One of the Bills' top stars was Andre Roberts. He had five kickoff returns for 115 yards — his longest went for 27 yards — and returned two punts for 34 yards. His longest punt return went for 22 yards. It was his best game as a Bill. You can see why they signed the guy to come in and serve as their returner. He's going to break one for a touchdown one of these games.
Kick coverage was solid again. The Bills defended two kickoff returns and gave up 22-yard and 18-yard returns. They only faced one punt return, but it went for no gain.
It's time. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll needs to go. If you were looking for "Exhibit A" in the case against Daboll, this game is it.
The Browns entered Sunday's game with the third-worst run defense in the league. Daboll's decision to call 13 rushing plays involving his running backs is a coaching failure. How do you not run more against this team, especially in a close game? It's a mind-boggling decision and part of a series of poor calls that should cost him his job.
Yes, the execution at times can be better. Josh Allen needs to make better throws in certain situations. But the play-calling needs to be better, too. Yet again, Daboll went with a run up the middle from the 1-yard-line to try and score a touchdown. For all the innovation he's used at other points of the season, it's bizarre that's his go-to play in those situations.
Daboll has done some good things. He's called good games in the past. But it doesn't seem he's the right coordinator for Allen and this offense. There is talent on this offense. Devin Singletary could be a star in this league. His limited usage this season is inexplicable. Dawson Knox could be a great young tight end, but it doesn't there are too many play calls designed for him. The short passing could help Allen and the team succeed.
It doesn't appear Daboll will change. And who's going to tell him to shake things up? Sean McDermott is a defensive-minded guy. Daboll is entrusted with the offense. After what we've seen for most of this season with the Bills' offense failing to beat bad teams in convincing fashion or at all, it's time for change. Daboll must go.
Overall, the Bills played a solid defensive game against the Browns. The run defense remains a problem, but the Bills were able to stay in the game with timely defensive plays. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, along with head coach Sean McDermott, drew up a good game plan to contain the Browns. While Jarvis Landry had a good game, Odell Beckham was held to five catches for 57 yards.
Offensive player of the game 🏈
Josh Allen. He threw for 266 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. Even though he could be better, he was the Bills' best offensive player.
Defensive player of the game 🏈
Matt Milano. Milano had seven tackles (five solo) and a sack. He's an important part of the Bills' defense.
38.4%. The percentage of third-down conversions the Bills had in the loss to the Browns. The Bills were 23rd in third-down efficiency entering Sunday's game.
266. The number of yards Josh Allen threw for against the Browns, setting a career high.
13. The number of carries Frank Gore and Devin Singletary had against the Browns.
The Bills (6-3) will play at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, against the Miami Dolphins. The game will be televised on CBS.