Can Josh Allen finally break out for the Buffalo Bills in this critical season?
With Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, high expectations were placed upon the Buffalo Bills to take over as AFC East Champions. This is a team that has a stacked defense that will make opposing quarterbacks quiver at the knees and added star receiver Stefon Diggs this offseason.
But there’s one question mark that can potentially hold back the Bills: quarterback Josh Allen. But given the amount of talent surrounding him, is this the year Allen finally earns himself a Pro Bowl nomination?
The Buffalo Bills need Josh Allen to make a big step up
Despite playing at Wyoming, Allen was a highly-touted prospect entering the 2018 NFL Draft. He had the prototypical build and hand size that team scouts gawked over, and boasted insane throwing power. But, he did have issues with accuracy, which became a divisive topic among draft experts. Some thought it was on him, while others believed it was due to his lackluster receivers.
No team loved Allen more than the Bills, as they looked to trade up at numerous occasions to select him. Luckily for them, the Buccaneers bit at their offer and received their franchise signal caller.
If there’s one bright spot to Allen’s game at the pro level, it’s his mobility. Through his first two seasons in the NFL, Allen rushed for 1,141 yards and 17 touchdowns on 198 carries (5.8 yards/attempt). He’s no Lamar Jackson, but he’s effective.
But when it comes to passing the ball, Allen has been frustrating to watch. In particular, we’re talking about placing the ball in his receivers hands. In 2018, 78 of his 320 pass attempts were deemed poor throws (25.7%), according to Pro Football Reference. Even with a “better” receiving corps this past season, Allen’s accuracy numbers were almost as bad. On 461 passes, 88 of them were determined to be bad (20.3%).
So in his rookie season, one out of every four throws were bad. In 2019, one-of-five Allen passes were uncatchable. Those are numbers you don’t want to see out of your starting quarterback.
For comparisons sake, Lamar Jackson (17.5%), Patrick Mahomes (18.3%), and even Sam Darnold (17.8%) had lower bad throw percentages than Allen.
The addition of Diggs isn’t going to help Allen become a Pro Bowler if he can’t hit any of his receivers between the numbers. Allen can throw the ball as hard and as far as he wants, but it doesn’t matter if he single-handedly hinders Buffalo’s chances of clinching wins while on the field.
Until he finds a way to improve his accuracy, Allen shouldn’t expect a trip to the Pro Bowl following the 2020 regular season.