Josh Allen is finally proving to be the quarterback the Buffalo Bills thought they were getting when they selected him seventh overall in the 2018 NFL draft. He’s still leaving the ball on the ground too often, but Allen has become the dual threat that creates sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators.
And it’s time for the critics from his first two seasons to concede Allen is turning out better than they ever imagined. Fortunately, apologizing to Bills quarterback Josh Allen has just been simplified.
The initial doubts were reasonable
Quarterback Josh Allen did not throw for 300 yards in a game in any of his 27 starts over his first two NFL seasons after the Buffalo Bills drafted him in the first round out of Wyoming. A talent deficit at wide receiver in his rookie season contributed to that, but there were other problems, too.
Allen came out of college with a reputation for possessing a cannon of an arm, but he didn’t show much touch on the short throws that need to be second nature for franchise quarterbacks. His ratio of 10 touchdown passes to 12 interceptions in 2018 wasn’t close to where it needed to be.
Allen took a step forward in 2019 with 20 touchdown passes and only nine picks, but the critics gave more weight to his 58.8% completion percentage than his four fourth-quarter comebacks and five game-winning drives. Tack on the 14 fumbles and there were still too many worries to anoint him a sure bet as the team’s first franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly.
It set Allen up for the 16 games that will decide his future in the league. The Bills will have to decide at the end of the current season whether to pick up his fifth-year option.
The answer at the moment would have to be an emphatic yes.
Josh Allen is off to a record-setting start
Josh Allen followed the first 300-yard passing day of his pro career with a 400-yard afternoon in Week 2. And then for good measure he threw for 311 this past weekend in beating the 2-0 Los Angeles Rams, 35-32.
His three-game totals are 1,038 yards, just one interception, and a 124.8 passer rating. Along the way, he has become the first signal-caller in NFL history to throw for 10 touchdowns and rush for two in the first three games of a season.
According to the league, he’s also just the fourth quarterback ever with 1,000 passing yards, 10 TD passes, and a rating of 120 or better through three games. It was previously accomplished by Peyton Manning (2013), Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018), and Patrick Mahomes (2019).
In addition, his rushing touchdown vs. the Rams was the 19th of his career. Only Cam Newton (28) scored more in his first three years in the league.
Apologizing to Josh Allen has been simplified
The 3-0 start understandably has Buffalo Bills fans giddy, and it’s also put Josh Allen’s detractors in an uncomfortable position. The draft-day critics who were sure the Bills had botched their rebuilding by taking the wrong quarterback can no longer point to his first two seasons to say, “I told you so.” The start to Year 3 is just too good to ignore.
To help the critics, members of the Bills Mafia have crafted an online apology form complete with checkboxes specifying what the mea culpa is for. A few of the options are:
- “I didn’t watch him in college.”
- “I miss Jim Kelly (I Understand)”
- “Twitter convinced me he was a bust.”
The form ends with one more box to check:
“I will hereby respect Josh Allen and I will not talk down on the future All-Pro and Super Bowl champion.”
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.