Last year, few would have considered Josh Allen a top-ten quarterback, let alone someone in the middle of the MVP discussion. The Buffalo Bills signal caller struggled with accuracy and decision making over his first two seasons, a mark on his game that had many fans and league insiders skeptical he could put it all together in year three.
After this season, it's safe to say that those concerns have been put to rest.
Allen threw for 4,544 passing yards, a 37:10 TD/INT ratio, while scrambling for 421 yards and eight touchdowns as well. As the leader of the league's second highest-scoring offense, the perception around the 24-year old, and the Bills as well, has changed drastically.
Hear what former NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer has to say about the progressions Allen has made as a franchise quarterback, and why the Bills star should be considered a favorite to win NFL MVP.
In a video for GMTM.com, Palmer, joined by Washington Football Team quarterback Kyle Allen, are in agreement that, even in a year with stellar quarterback play around the league, Allen is in the thick of any MVP talk.
Jordan was quick to recognize that a COVID-19 impacted offseason "was a big disadvantage for quarterbacks and receivers...for wide receivers it's harder to stay in game shape." Therefore, the connection Allen and receiver Stefon Diggs have formed in just year one is remarkable, pushing each other towards career highs in 2020 and becoming one of the most feared duos in the league.
Palmer and Kyle made sure to also give credit to Bills General Manager Brandon Beane, who acquired Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings last offseason, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who draws up some of the most creative plays in the NFL.
One of the things that struck Kyle about the Bills is how comfortable Allen and the rest of the offense mesh together, with a strong offensive line and a variety of weapons that compliment each other well. When Allen is able to have increased time to throw, the results have been there. When defenders are near, he's able to make something happen on the ground as well.
Later on, Jordan pointed out the similarities between Allen's Bills and Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs, who operate innovative offenses that allow their star QB's to succeed. Palmer went on to note that the two have almost identical playing styles, with the use of a dominant number one receiver, pass-catching running backs, and strong pass catchers in the slot to compliment playbooks that keep defenses guessing.
While he was in agreement with Palmer, Kyle argued that "To Josh's credit, I think the Chiefs have all the stuff that Buffalo has, but then they have Kelce, then they have Sammy Watkins. ...He [Josh] isn't playing with as many athletes as Pat is."
The lack of a dominant tight end such as Kelce, or even a dynamic backfield pass catcher such as Kansas City rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, means that Allen has actually had to do more with less when compared to Mahomes. Hopefully fans will be able to witness a rematch between these two powerhouse teams in the AFC Championship game.
It should comfort the members of Bills Mafia to know that after a slight dip in production midseason, Allen has been playing his best football to close out the season. Number seventeen sliced up opposing defenses to the tune of over 1,500 yards passing, seventeen total touchdowns to just two interceptions, and five straight wins.
Regardless of what happens in the postseason, few would argue that the leap Josh Allen has made in his third year as a quarterback isn't worthy of praise. In just six months, just about every question over whether he could be 'the guy' in Buffalo has been answered, all while breaking franchise passing records and leading one of the best offenses in the NFL. Allen now looks to lead the Bills to their first Super Bowl appearance in almost thirty years this January.