I've made up my mind

Josh Allen wins a tight race for the starting quarterback job

Howard Simon
August 20, 2018 - 10:57 am

Photo: Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills)

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Let the quarterback competition continue even with the field narrowed to two due to injury. That seems to be the plan based on Sean McDermott's comments on Monday. The Buffalo Bills head coach told the media that Josh Allen would work with the first-team offense at practice that day, and Nathan Peterman would be with the second-team unit. Before you declare the competition over, McDermott said it's part of the rotation since it was Peterman with the ones and Allen with the twos on Sunday.

As far as I'm concerned, Allen should be the starter for Week 1 in Baltimore. I'll be honest, it's because he's the first round pick who we hope turns out to be the long-term answer. Peterman has done nothing to lose the competition and has looked good in both preseason games, but Allen hasn't done anything to take himself out of the competition either and, in my mind, if all things are equal, I'd go with Allen.

Allen's preseason, for me, was first and foremost to see if he looked lost in the NFL environs. With two games under his belt and the second one being a step up in class, the rookie from Wyoming has looked comfortable in his NFL shoes. His numbers from Friday's game in Cleveland won't wow anybody, but I was impressed with his accuracy on short throws, his decision making and his poise while going against second-teamers from the Browns.

Allen displayed the ability to make pass rushers miss, including a play that resulted in a touchdown pass to Rod Streater. He did a nice job of side-stepping pressure, stepping up and keeping his eyes on the field rather than just try to run the ball himself. 

During his second drive, Allen faced pressure from a blitz on 3rd-and-1 and he pump faked to keep the rushers coming. Allen then beat those rushers to the outside and picked up a first down. The two-minute offense ended up producing a field goal.  

On his third drive, which now included the No. 2 offensive line, Allen showed the ability to throw accurately on the move. After looking to his right initially, Allen ran to his left and completed a pass to Corey Coleman for a short gain.

As opposed to the opener against Carolina when two incomplete passes that traveled some 65-yards in the air and a bullet completed over the middle that had fans excited, this was a case of taking what the defense was giving and finding a way to keep the offense moving downfield.

Practice is closed to the media this week, so they can't track the exact breakdown of reps with starters by the quarterbacks. However, my guess is McDermott will get time with the ones for both guys on Sunday against Cincinnati, and make his decision on the Week 1 starter after that.

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