Josh Allen expressed his disbelief at the referees flagging him for intentional grounding during the Bills’ 24-18 road loss to the Bengals on Sunday night. Immediately after the call was made, Allen vehemently argued against it and seized the opportunity to voice his displeasure during the postgame press conference, saying, “I’ve never seen that call in my life.”
The situation unfolded when the Bills faced a third-and-6 at the Bengals’ 38-yard-line with just 28 seconds remaining in the first half. Allen targeted receiver Gabe Davis, who had the option to either sit or go deep. Allen anticipated Davis going deep, but the receiver unexpectedly came to a halt. Although Allen was under only minimal pressure, he threw the ball toward the goal line, resulting in an out-of-bounds pass with no intended receiver in the vicinity.
Subsequently, the referees penalized Allen with intentional grounding, pushing the Bills out of scoring range. While a 56-yard field goal is far from a guaranteed success, the Bills were eager for the opportunity. Allen defended his decision, stating, “I wasn’t pressured. They decided to make that call and, unfortunately, didn’t allow us to get points there. I wouldn’t do anything different. I’m expecting him to run a go, and he made the read to stop.”
The Bills commenced the second half with a field goal, and Allen believed that scoring on back-to-back drives could have made a significant difference in the outcome of the game. Allen’s overall performance for the night included completing 26 of 38 passes for 258 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, in addition to contributing 44 rushing yards and one rushing score. With this loss, Buffalo’s record now stands at 5-4, having lost three of its last five games.
Reflecting on the game, Allen emphasized the impact of the intentional grounding call, saying, “It’s a huge swing. Whether it’s three or six coming out of the half, scoring on back-to-back drives and getting yourself some momentum, that’s huge in a game, especially against a good team like we just played.”
Despite the disappointment of the loss, Allen remained optimistic about the team’s unity and resolve, stating, “It stings, losing is never fun, losing sucks. If one thing, though, we’re not going to let this divide us. We’re going to come together, and we’re going to figure it out. I got a lot of faith in the men in this locker room and this coaching staff and the men around me.”