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TAMPA — Josh Allen played like a star and spoke like an optimist when it was all over Sunday and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat his Buffalo Bills 33-27 in overtime.
“I know the score was what the score was,” Allen said after his team fell short despite putting up 24 points in the second half to force the overtime against the defending Super Bowl champions. “But I’m damn proud of our team and how we fought in that second half.
“That’s who we are. That’s the team I’ve grown to love and to know, really … I’m proud of our team and how we did it. Obviously, we wish the end result was different. But I’m super proud of our guys.”
That positive outlook shows leadership and it’s fair that Allen was thinking good thoughts after coming back from a 23-3 deficit.
But none of this erases the truth about the Bills now.
That truth is the Bills have a great player on offense touching the football every play, which gives them a great chance to be in every game. But Josh Allen is one guy.
And football is a team sport.
And, as it was on Sunday, one guy playing like that isn’t enough.
The Bills need more and Allen needs help because not even he was been able to deliver his team from its current two-game losing skid and 3-5 record the last eight weeks.
“Very heartbreaking,” running back Devin Singletary said. “It’s heartbreaking, that’s the only way I can put it.”
It’s heartbreaking because the Bills wasted a great performance by Allen and they’re threatening to blow a very good season by the quarterback as well.
Allen, you see, can perform great feats that include basically playing both quarterback and leading rusher, which he did against the Buccaneers as he passed for 308 yards and rushed for 109 more.
Allen can also lift his team after an opponent comes out with a better game-plan, better balance and better execution.
Allen can even do heroic things such as play with a left ankle and foot injury that he sustained in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard run and ultimately had him leaving the stadium in a walking boot. (There will be an MRI on the ankle and foot Monday morning.)
But despite all that, Allen is one guy.
And the Bills need more guys to contribute at a high level so they can stop being so annoyingly inconsistent and undependable week to week,
“He’s a warrior,” Bills tight end Dawson Knox said of Allen, “and everybody sees that. And when the team around a guy like that, it’s going to be hard to beat. The way he puts the team on his back dealing with whatever injury he’s got right now, we’ve seen it time after time from him, so no one’s really surprised.
“There’s no other guy I’d rather have lead us in a game.”
Awesome but the Bills’ leader could use some help.
Tre’Davious White is supposed to help on defense. But the cornerback is lost for the season with a knee injury. And so, to no one’s surprise, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady threw for 363 yards and two TDs.
Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, in his fourth season, should be one of those guys, but he’s simply not. That was him, by the way, trying — and failing — to clean things up on a 58-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Breshad Perriman in overtime.
“Based off the results, it doesn’t look like we were in the right place,” Edmunds said of the crossing route that somehow left him matched and obviously overmatched covering a receiver.
None of this, by the way, really mattered to Allen after the game.
He talked of the team not folding and of having players “that want to be great.” He spoke of the Bills having “control of our own destiny.” He even spoke of refusing to come out of the game with 9 minutes to play after his injury.
“Yeah, there was no way I was going out,” Allen said.
Great stuff by an outstanding player.
Too bad the Bills have only one Josh Allen. Because lately that hasn’t been enough.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero