Buffalo’s drive before halftime the latest chapter in the Josh Allen saga

Mark Schofield
·3 min read

This. Freakin. Guy.

That is a phrase reserved for the best of the best, the elite passers who can beat you even if you do everything right on a specific play. Think Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson and even Tom Brady.

Josh Allen has joined that pantheon of passers.

His ascent to that mountain top was underway throughout the season, but it was perhaps completed in Week 16 when Allen and the Buffalo Bills went into Foxborough and dismantled the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. It led to this video recorded after the game:

Heading into Saturdays’ game against the Indianapolis Colts, I argued that for Buffalo to win on Super Wild-Card Weekend they needed to continue trusting Allen. If Buffalo’s scoring drive prior to halftime is any indication, they are doing just that.

Trailing 10-7, the Bills took possession deep in their own territory after an incompletion on fourth down. They could have played it close to the vest, tried to run the football and not risk a big mistake.

Instead they came out firing, with Allen trying to rip a seam route throw to the right on first down.

When that fell incomplete, you might have expected them to run the football on the next play to perhaps work the clock a little.

Instead Allen dropped to pass again, and after scrambling he found a receiver deep along the right sideline for a huge gain. The play was reviewed and upheld.

Two plays later, this happened:

 

Later in the drive the Bills faced a fourth down in Colts’ territory. They kept Allen and the offense on the field, they used a hard count and when a Colts defender jumped offsides, Allen had a free play. The pass was intercepted.

Thanks to the penalty, the Bills kept possession. And they continued to trust Allen. He came out throwing on the next play, and a potential end zone interception was reviewed, and called incomplete.

The next two plays, the ball was back in the quarterback’s hands. Brian Daboll called for a quarterback draw and Allen worked the football down inside the ten-yard line. On the next snap, Daboll again trusted his quarterback:

Allen, reading the defense, pulls the football and keeps it himself, plunging into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.

There are many differences between 2019 Josh Allen, and the 2020 version. Last year’s version would have attempted many of these throws that we saw on this drive, but perhaps not completed them, or worse. This version, even with some of the near-mistakes, keeps firing.

And he has a staff – and a team – behind him that trusts him. That believes in him.

That can be all the difference in a world for an offense.

 

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Baltimore
+130+3O 49.5
Buffalo
-154-3U 49.5