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WFT DL, Bills' QB Plagued By Slow Starts

A defense and a quarterback come into Sunday's showdown searching for better beginnings

A lot has been said about the slow start Washington Football Team’s defense has been experiencing in the 2021 NFL Season. For starters, it has allowed opening-drive touchdowns to both the Los Angeles Chargers and the New York Giants. 

No offense wants to play from behind, and giving up touchdowns on their first trip onto the field is not what anyone expected when considering the defense the strength of the WFT. 

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Coming in as a 7.5-point point underdog, many expect the Washington Football Team to fold in Buffalo and fall to 1-2. But the Bills themselves enter this game at 1-1 and have been far from perfect in their start to 2021. 

So the key to winning for Washington is going to be finding Buffalo’s weakness, and continuing to exploit it the best they can. Thus far, that weakness has been quarterback Josh Allen. 

Although, Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll isn’t particularly concerned about his quarterback at the moment. 

“You do the best you can on each drive,” Daboll told media when talking about his offense, and quarterback in particular. “In terms of numbers, I’m not really concerned about that. I’m concerned about the decision making right now and when we’re throwing it away, making good decisions under stress. And he’s (Josh Allen) done a good job with that.”

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To be fair to Daboll, you can’t ask him about his struggling quarterback and expect him to come out with a scathing critique of Allen. At least, not if he expects to lead Allen into the future and keep his job, anyway. 

Despite the confidence of his coordinator, Allen has struggled in the beginning weeks of the 2021 NFL season.

So far he’s completed just 56 percent of his pass attempts, lowest since his rookie season, and his touchdown percentage is also second-lowest in his career to just that first year in the NFL. 

Back then, Allen was considered a rough around the edges project with much to learn. This year, he was considered a challenger to the quarterback throne. Or at least the understudy to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes sitting atop the AFC. 

Allen has fewer passing yards than Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, a lower completion percentage than New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, a lower quarterback rating than Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton, and a lower first down pass percentage just a tick higher than New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars rookies Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence. 

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Has Allen forgotten how to be a franchise quarterback for the Buffalo Bills? No. But he has struggled, and the stress is certainly appearing to get to him in the early going. 

This opens a door for the Washington Football Team defense looking to get their own train back on the rails, and keeping the young Bills quarterback under pressure, could spell victory in the team’s first road trip of the season.