- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick remains impressed with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen
- The fourth-year quarterback has steadily improved and has the Bills apace to make the postseason for a third straight year
- Allen has the opportunity to continue being a massive thorn in Belichick’s side
Allen, the Bills’ fourth-year star quarterback, is putting up MVP-caliber numbers on one of the AFC’s top teams. The Wyoming product also earned Belichick’s significant praise ahead of a pivotal primetime clash between the two AFC East rivals — and we don’t think the defensive mastermind’s recent assessment is incorrect.
Bill Belichick offered Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen no shortage of praise
When Allen first started against the Patriots in December 2018, he completed 48.8% of his passes for 217 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions in a 24-12 loss. Put kindly; he looked like the developing 22-year-old rookie quarterback he was at the time.
Things have changed significantly since that initial meeting at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Allen has evolved into one of the NFL’s most dangerous quarterbacks, someone who can beat a secondary with a deep pass or gash through a defense on a QB keeper.
According to Boston.com, Belichick recently explained how impressed he’s been with Allen’s development.
“His improvement has just been tremendous from where it was three years ago,” Belichick said. “Completion percentage, passer rating, decision making, production … it’s risen at a really remarkable rate.”
Belichick specifically praised Allen’s ability to handle plays at the line of scrimmage and adjust if needed. Buffalo entered Week 13 averaging 29.6 points per game, the league’s second-highest total.
“[The Bills] rarely run a bad play or where they run into a bad look or a blitz or something like that. He doesn’t get fooled much by anything. It’s really impressive to watch how he’s developed there.”Bill Belichick
Allen entered Week 13 having completed 66.8% of his passes for 3,071 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 383 yards and three scores.
There is no disputing how far Allen has come in recent years
Considering how many quarterbacks the Bills have gone through since Jim Kelly retired in 1997, the franchise should be commended for sticking with Allen after an inconsistent rookie season. Buffalo could have easily decided to trade up for Duke’s Daniel Jones in the 2019 NFL Draft or add Missouri’s Drew Lock in the second round.
Instead, Buffalo gave Allen time to develop, and he responded with gradual improvements in 2019. Although he didn’t earn All-Pro honors or win a Super Bowl, he accounted for 29 total touchdowns and only threw nine interceptions en route to reaching the postseason.
From there, Buffalo traded for All-Pro receiver Stefon Diggs, continued developing young tight end Dawson Knox, and built an offense Allen could thrive in each week. The result? He threw for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2020, earned Pro Bowl honors, and reached the AFC Championship Game.
Now, Allen has the Bills apace to reach the postseason for a third consecutive year, and he has Belichick watching in awe.
“It’s just remarkable how good he has become,” Belichick said.
Allen has the potential to truly become a massive thorn in Belichick’s side
Believe it or not, Belichick and his defense didn’t have too much trouble containing Allen at first. In his first four starts against the Patriots, the dynamic quarterback threw three touchdowns against six interceptions and only once completed more than 50% of his passes in one game.
Although Allen rushed for three touchdowns in that span, he also lost three of the four starts. It wasn’t until Dec. 28, 2020, when Allen threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-9 rout on Monday Night Football, that the Patriots finally experienced firsthand how terrifying Allen can be.
The 69-year-old Belichick has shown no desire to retire, and Allen is under contract through the end of the 2028 season. We can’t even say that we haven’t seen the last showdown between these two; Buffalo hosts New England on Sunday, Dec. 26.
If Allen builds off last December’s four-touchdown outing, he and the Bills should have no issues winning a second consecutive AFC East title. However, he’ll have to go through Belichick, and history favors the Hooded One, even if he does respect how far his newest rival has come.