Back to it

Josh Allen is back playing and making games interesting

Bulldog
November 25, 2018 - 9:21 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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After four games worth of Derek Anderson, Nathan Peterman and Matt Barkley, the Buffalo Bills got back to what the 2018 season was supposed to be about. That's watching Josh Allen develop and doing the best the team and we can to determine whether or not he’s the man for the job long-term.

Sunday’s game with the Jacksonville Jaguars wasn’t going to make or break Allen. He almost certainly will continue to get opportunities well into next season to demonstrate that he was worth what the Bills paid to draft him. We obviously don’t have those games to talk about yet, so let’s deal with this game against Jacksonville.

The highlight was obviously the 75-yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster. It was, in a word, spectacular. Allen patiently waited in the pocket, almost too long, as he ended up getting sandwiched by a pair of Jaguars defensive linemen just as he launched his pass. It was on target to Foster, who had cleanly beaten his man and cruised into the end zone. It was the kind of throw we’ve been waiting to see from Allen all season, and it was definitely encouraging.

It ended up being an odd day for Allen, at least as far as throwing the ball goes. There just weren’t many completions. There were a couple of nice throws negated by penalties and a drop/good defensive play, depending on your point of view. He continued to make very good plays with his legs, breaking a 14-14 tie on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run. That play was set up by another of Allen’s best throws of the day, a 19-yard strike on the hash to Foster. 

Allen managed a 45-yard scramble from deep in Bills territory that allowed them to flip the field while nursing their seven-point lead as the fourth quarter ticked down. A few plays later, Jordan Poyer picked off a bobbled Blake Bortles pass and the Bills were pretty much home.

So on the day, Allen ends up with 99 yards and a new Bills record for quarterback rushing yards. Kneel downs at the end cost Allen a 100-yard rushing day. The passing numbers are modest, especially considering how explosively Allen began the game. Allen started the game 4-of-5 with 125 yards in the first quarter and ended the game 8-of-19 for 160 yards.

I would expect fans will appreciate Allen’s enthusiasm on a day where things got a bit nasty following a brawl in corner of the Bills end zone. I think fans have liked Allen for the way he handles himself. His sideline interactions with teammates, exhorting the crowd at the end of the third quarter when the stadium was already at a fever pitch will not go unnoticed. It helps that Allen delivered a fantastic touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter to close out that wild sequence.

I’m fine liking the way Allen handles himself and even complimenting him for it. The plays are the thing though and there were enough of them on Sunday from Allen, both running and throwing, to help the Bills win the game 24-21. We’ll need to see more plays as Allen continues to play through what remains of this season and into the 2019 season.

For a day, I’m guessing plenty of fans walked out of the stadium saying “I like this Allen kid,” and I’m alright with that right now.

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