ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey didn’t retract his offseason critique of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen as “trash,” but he did give the rookie credit Sunday for leading the Bills to a 24-21 victory at New Era Field.
“He did enough to get their team the win,” Ramsey said. “I don’t really know the stats. I know he ran the ball really well. He hurt us with his feet. Passing, it didn’t really feel like a lot of opportunities. We have to watch the film. They did have one deep one on us early that hurt us in the first quarter.
“Other than that he was causing damage with his feet.”
Allen ran for 99 yards and a touchdown — he had 101 but lost 2 yards on consecutive kneel-downs at the end of the game — to send the Jaguars to their seventh consecutive loss. Allen completed only 8 of 19 passes for 160 yards, but he did hit on a 75-yard touchdown to Robert Foster in the first quarter. It came on a busted coverage by the Jaguars. They were playing three-deep zones, and Ramsey did not get deep enough, which allowed Foster to get wide open behind him for an easy throw-and-catch.
Other than that, Allen completed seven passes for 85 yards. Two of those came on the Bills’ go-ahead drive that ended with his 14-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
“There was a lot of trash-talking, before and after,” Allen said. “But ultimately my job is to go out there and help this team win football games.”
When asked whether Allen’s performance changed Ramsey’s perception of him, Ramsey said what happens on the field matters more than anything said.
“The good thing about the world we live in is everyone can have an opinion,” Ramsey said. “I stick by my opinions usually. He did enough for the team to get a win and that’s really what matters at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what I said. I’m sure that’s what he was thinking on his side.
“You can have opinions, but it’s about what you go out there and do, and what he did was go out there for his team and get a win.”
While Allen was diplomatic about the situation, at least one of his teammates said Sunday’s game was important to the Wyoming product.
“They talked a lot about him, so he couldn’t wait to get out there and prove them wrong,” running back LeSean McCoy said.
Added safety Jordan Poyer: “Josh is a baller. They can say whatever they want to say about Josh. Jalen can say whatever he wants to say about Josh. Josh came in there and handled that defense today.”
Ramsey called Allen “trash” in an August GQ magazine piece while explaining why he thought the 2018 NFL draft was “a little off.” He wondered why Lamar Jackson wasn’t the second quarterback drafted if teams were so enamored with the athleticism, charisma, mobility and big-play ability of No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.
Jackson ended up being the fifth quarterback drafted in the first round last April. The New York Jets selected Sam Darnold third overall, the Bills took Allen at No. 7, and Arizona took Josh Rosen 10th. Baltimore selected Jackson with the last pick in the first round.
“I think Allen is trash,” Ramsey said in the GQ piece that was published Aug. 15. “I don’t care what nobody say. He’s trash. And it’s gonna show too. That’s a stupid draft pick to me. We play them this year, and I’m excited as hell. I hope he’s their starting quarterback. He played at Wyoming. Every time they played a big school-like, they played Iowa State, which is not a big school in my opinion because I went to Florida State, and he threw five interceptions, and they lost by a couple touchdowns or something like that. He never beat a big school.
“If you look at his games against big schools, it was always hella interceptions, hella turnovers. It’s like: ‘Yo, if you’re this good, why couldn’t you do better?’ He fits that mold, he’s a big, tall quarterback. Big arm, supposedly. I don’t see it, personally.”
Allen didn’t play against Iowa State while he was at Wyoming, but he did complete only 50 percent of his passes for 427 yards and one touchdown with eight interceptions in games against Nebraska, Iowa and Oregon. Wyoming lost those three contests by a combined 92 points.
On Sunday, though, he led the Bills to a three-point victory over the team that beat them 10-3 in an AFC wild-card game in Jacksonville, Florida, in January. He didn’t gloat afterward, though, and said Ramsey was respectful when they spoke.
“Just shook my hand, dapped me up and said, ‘Good job,'” Allen said. “As competitors, when things happen, we want to compete. He’s an ultimate competitor, just like myself. Maybe it’s a respect thing, not really sure.
“I appreciate that. Takes a big man to do that.”
ESPN’s Mike Rodak contributed to this report.