Can Allen figure out the deep ball?

When will Josh Allen's premier arm strength find production on the field?

Louie DiBiase
October 21, 2019 - 3:31 am

On paper, the Buffalo Bills look to be in a great spot within the AFC playoff race.

A 5-1 record, with one of the easiest schedules left in the NFL, and seriously competing with just a few teams for a playoff spot. 

Looking deeper into the first six games of the season, however, there has been a lot of meat left on the bones. Even in the wins.

Against five teams under .500, the Bills won each matchup by 14 points or less.

A large part of that can be linked to quarterback Josh Allen and his inconsistencies as a passer down the field. 

Coming out of Wyoming in 2018, Allen was seen as a prospect that had many red flags, including accuracy and his mechanics. He also was seen as someone with a large ceiling thanks to his size, mobility, and unique arm strength. 

In two seasons with Buffalo, Allen has struggled to utilize that arm talent, while to the surprise of many, taking significant steps in the short and intermediate areas of the passing game. 

The Bills added a well-known deep threat in free agency by signing wide receiver John Brown to help Allen continue his development. The two have grown a strong connection on the field, but they have yet to hit the home run plays.

Sunday against the Miami Do;phins, three weeks ago against the New England Patriots, and throughout the season, Allen's decision making and accuracy down the field has been a weak-point of the offense. 

The Bills' 31-21 win over the Dolphins could have been even bigger if Allen hit a wide open Andre Roberts, who split the opposing cornerback and safety down the field for, what would have been, an easy touchdown. However, the pass had too much power and was uncatchable for Roberts. 

Finding the right balance of touch and power on throws 25-plus yards down the field has been a struggle for Allen throughout his career. Decision making in that area has been a struggle too. 

The Bills' only loss in 2019 against New England could have been a statement win if it wasn't for three interceptions that all were deep attempts down the right side of the field. 

Overall this season, Allen has completed just four passes of 25-plus yards and two passes of 35-plus yards. 

Becoming a dependable quarterback in the fourth quarter and developing in many weak areas of his game are very encouraging signs for Allen. However, it is unlikely that he will ever be one of the more accurate passers in the NFL.

For the Bills to truly become a championship contender and get the franchise quarterback they envisioned getting in the 2018 NFL Draft, Allen will need to learn to use the powerful weapon hanging from his right shoulder more efficiently. 

He will have an opportunity to take a step in that area this Sunday against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that has allowed a league-high eight 40-plus-yard receptions.

Comments ()