Bills' third quarter performances continue to be concerning

Buffalo is still struggling to put together a complete game
75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

If you’re reading this, it would be great if you could drop the name of a good cardiologist. My heart is unwell.

As long as Josh Allen is the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, no heart is safe in Western New York. Frankly, neither is the opposition's fourth quarter lead.

But let’s get serious here.

The Bills' third quarter performance was unacceptable. It’s been their Achilles heel for the better part of two years and it’s been a notable issue in all three games in 2020.

This isn’t just an Allen thing or an offensive thing. It was a collective team let down, giving up a 28-3 lead to find themselves down 32-28 late in the fourth quarter. Whether it was an inability to slow down the Rams offense or a mind-numbingly bad call from the referees in the third quarter, the Bills really need to figure out the third quarter and do so quick.

The Bills did a stellar job keeping All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald at bay the entire first half, but boy was it a take of two halves. Donald’s presence in the second half accounted for a thorough unraveling of the Bills offense after, what seemed to be, a blowout in the making.

Yes, they did their thing and came back, but the better competition in this league will eat you alive. I’ll give the offense credit - it’s not like they got conservative or took their foot off the gas. There just so happened to be a really well-coached football team on the other sideline, and Allen’s third quarter interception opened the door just enough for Sean McVay and Jared Goff to crawl back into the game.

The one thing that should really concern all of us, though – it appears the defense has taken a considerable step back as a group. They gave up 28 points to Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 2 and followed it up by getting gashed by Darrell Henderson, Jr. for over 100 yards on the ground, and 300 yards passing from Jared Goff, including an alarming 32 second half points.

It may not be time to push the panic button, but there’s a standard defensively that all of us are accustomed to seeing and through three games. This defense is almost unrecognizable. How defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and head coach Sean McDermott pivot from here will be something to watch.

The Bills are 3-0, and dare I use cliché?

It’s hard to win football games in the NFL and the Bills have gutted out two hard-fought victories. They’re not perfect, but if they can clean some things up that have plagued them in the third quarter, this is a top-three team in the AFC.