Jim Kelly is the quarterback who got the Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl. Josh Allen is the QB who hopes to win them one.
Under Kelly, the Bills played in four straight Super Bowls, losing each time. With two more victories, Allen will have the Bills playing in yet another. What quarterback would you want running the Bills: the Hall of Famer Kelly or the multitalented Allen?
Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills face a tough test in the Cincinnati Bengals
Allen and the Bills take on the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend for the right to play in the AFC Championship Game. The Bills secured the No. 2 seed in the AFC, while the Bengals are right behind them at No. 3.
The teams met in Week 17, but Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after attempting to make a first-quarter tackle on Bengals wideout Tee Higgins. The Bills medical staff immediately administered CPR, and Hamlin was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The game was canceled.
Hamlin has since made a remarkable recovery and is out of the hospital. He’s been visiting with teammates at the team facility. He did not attend last Sunday’s home game against the Miami Dolphins, and it’s unknown if he’ll be at Sunday’s game against the Bengals, according to ESPN.
The Bills have gotten to where they are, mainly because of the play of Allen. The fifth-year quarterback entered the season as the favorite to win the MVP, and he guided the Bills to a 13-3 mark. Allen has been outstanding, but he’s also had his moments where he’s reverted to his rookie season with some poor decisions. Allen finished with 35 touchdowns but was intercepted 14 times in the regular season. Last week against the Dolphins, he turned the ball over three times.
Allen is immensely talented. He’s got a rifle arm and can turn a nothing play into a spectacular touchdown. What separates him from the other talented quarterbacks are his legs and his size. At 6-foot-5 and 237 pounds, Allen can run past or run through many defenders. He rushed for 762 yards and seven touchdowns this year, averaging 6.1 yards per carry.
Jim Kelly led the Bills to four Super Bowls
Kelly was the architect of Buffalo’s fast-paced K-Gun offense. After starting his professional career with the USFL, setting passing records with the Houston Gamblers, he began his NFL career with the Bills in 1986, where he struggled as a starter. The Bills went 4-12 in their first season with Kelly under center.
After that year, Kelly went 97-47 as a starter in Buffalo with one losing season. Even with Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas in the backfield, Kelly still managed to lead the league in touchdown passes in 1991 with 33.
Kelly and the Bills reached the Super Bowl each year from 1990 to 1993. During that stretch, Kelly went 48-13 in the regular season and threw 98 touchdown passes.
So, who would you rather have at quarterback: Peak Jim Kelly or current Josh Allen? It’s a tough choice. Their numbers are quite similar through five seasons, but Allen’s legs give him a dimension Kelly never had. His running ability would be the tie-breaker for me.
If Allen can stay healthy, he’ll likely break many of Kelly’s career records and just might be able to get that elusive Super Bowl win. Kelly admitted he’s perfectly fine with Allen taking over the record books.
“He broke a lot of my records, and people go, ‘are you mad that he broke your records?'” Kelly once said on The Irish Show With Jim Kelly, “I say, ‘are you crazy? Heck no. If he’s breaking my records, that means we’re winning football games.'”