Bills lose to Eagles 37-34 in suspenseful overtime battle

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Josh Allen took a knee instead of taking a shot at the end zone to close the fourth quarter. He threw a pick that led to a go-ahead score by the Eagles. The mistakes piled up for Buffalo — 10 penalties in the first half, two missed field goals, a dropped pass in the end zone.

Buffalo’s path to the postseason is as gloomy as the Philly weather the teams scuffled in.

Allen was sensational in spurts with two passing touchdowns and two rushing scores, yet the end result was a 37-34 overtime loss to the Eagles on Sunday. Was it the end of Buffalo’s playoff hopes?

The three-time defending AFC East champion Bills (6-6) have a week off to regroup from a demoralizing defeat but games ahead against Kansas City and Dallas only complicate their path to the playoffs.

Buffalo has dropped four of six to get into this predicament — 2 1/2 games behind division-leading Miami and trailing several teams in the wild-card race.

“I’m extremely confident in our guys, the men that we have in our locker room,” Allen said.

They couldn’t show it for 60 minutes and change — blowing leads of 17-7 at the half, 24-14 through three and 34-31 in OT.

Buffalo just made too many mistakes, the kind not found in the box score.

Jake Elliott kicked a 59-yard field goal for the Eagles that made it 31-all with 20 seconds left in regulation. With time perhaps for a desperation heave, Allen took a knee.

Buffalo fans howled on social media. Allen took a more diplomatic approach toward the decision.

“That was the right call,” he said.

In OT, Buffalo suffered a glaring miscommunication when Allen seemingly had wide receiver Gabe Davis for an open TD catch. Davis perhaps ran the wrong route and the ball fell to the ground. The Bills settled for a field goal.

“Had an opportunity there to win the game and put it away,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “They made the plays that were there to be made and we didn’t.”

Davis finished with six catches for 105 yards.

The Bills finished with 505 total yards and 13 third-down conversions. But they became only the latest team to find out it takes so much more to beat the NFC champion Eagles — especially in Philly.

“We understand where we’re at,” Allen said. “We’ve got to get things going.”

They’ve got plenty to clean up to get back to the postseason.

While McDermott declined to address the officiating, the Bills were whistled for 10 penalties in the first half and for 85 yards overall. Tyler Bass had a field goal attempt blocked late in the first half and missed a 48-yarder early in the third.

Allen, who was 29 of 51 for 339 yards, ran and threw for a score in the first half. He added a 16-yard run in the third quarter that stretched the lead to 24-14. He could have had one more TD pass if not for James Cook’s drop in the first quarter.

Allen’s lone interception was momentous. He was picked off in the fourth quarter by James Bradbury, setting up Jalen Hurts’ 29-yard TD pass to Olamide Zaccheaus for a 28-24 Eagles lead.

Allen’s play, and the offense’s struggles in general, led to the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and promotion of quarterbacks coach Joe Brady before the Bills’ 32-6 rout of the Jets last Sunday.

Brady and Allen were in synch again against the Eagles. But the defense couldn’t stop Hurts — he accounted for a career-high five touchdowns — and special teams cost Buffalo at least six points.

Allen had his eighth game this season with a rushing and passing score and the seventh multi-rushing TD game of his career. He gamely tried to carry the Bills — but it’s going to take more than a one-man effort moving forward.

“We’ve got to attack the rest of the season,” he said.

Philadelphia Eagles place-kicker Jake Elliott kicks a game tying field goal against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)