After running the ball so well with Josh Allen last week but struggling with their running backs and seeing how poorly Miami defended the run, specifically New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, conventional wisdom said the Buffalo Bills would use that formula to attack the Dolphins this week. That was especially the case considering the Bills were without their two starting linebackers and it was going to be a really hot day in South Florida.
Game plan: pound the ball against a weaker run defense, keep your own defense off the field, and don’t worry about lighting up the scoreboard. Just win the game and get home, right?
Well, the Bills had different plans. That's because they have Allen.
It’s about time everyone starts to recognize it, if you already haven’t - the Bills have found their franchise quarterback. There's no more debating it.
No matter how many memes you see making fun of a bad pass or how many people you read telling you otherwise because they simply refuse to accept it. It’s right there for everyone to see. Statistically, analytically, and with your own eyes. If you don’t see it, then you clearly just don’t want to.
For the constant critics, doubters, and haters of the Bills quarterback - many of which dug in on their position even before he was drafted - your window of opportunity has closed. From here on out, if you want to keep telling everyone how bad he is or how he will never fit your metrics to succeed - whatever that means - one can only assume it's due to your own arrogance, ignorance, or self-entertainment, because it's certainly not for actually paying attention.
According to Stathead, Allen is only the fourth quarterback in NFL history to eclipse 700 passing yards, have at least six touchdown passes and no interceptions in the first two weeks of a season. The others? Peyton Manning (2013), Tom Brady (2015), and Patrick Mahomes (2019). Two of the best all-time signal-callers and the other considered one of the best in today's game.
Of course, that doesn’t automatically put Allen in their company. It doesn’t mean he’s destined for the Hall of Fame. But through two weeks of play, he’s playing at an MVP level. Not just because of those gaudy stats, but also how his team has rode him. That’s the difference between over two decades of Bills football and 2020.
Even when the Bills had a quarterback who put up some nice numbers here-and-there, they’ve never really asked him to be the offense, to ride him to victory. It’s mostly been, “make a few good throws, then don’t screw it up.”
Through two games, that hasn’t been the case. Allen hasn’t just been good, check that, sensational, but an offense that’s averaged 464 yards and 29 points per-game through two weeks has leaned on him to do it.
In year’s past, sometimes the Bills have won even in spite of their quarterback. So far this season, they’re winning because of him.
Consider this: the Bills have run 140 total offensive plays so far this season. Whether through passing or running, Allen has been responsible for 103 of them. Everyone else combined for only 37. In other words, he’s been 74% of an offense that is No. 1 in the AFC in total yards, yards per-game, yards per-play, and second in first downs per-game.
Let’s be honest, we all expected the Bills to be 2-0. We knew they were better than the New York Jets and Dolphins and expected them to beat both teams and be right where they are.
What most didn’t expect was for it to be like this - by watching Allen transform into a legitimate franchise quarterback right in front of our eyes.
Here’s some advice: Keep them open, because as good as he’s been, he’s only going to get better.
It's going to be fun and hard to miss.
Unless you intentionally choose to, of course.
Follow me on Twitter: @SalSports