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Does Fan Attendance Affect Josh Allen’s performance?



Last year was unusual for the NFL, to say the least. Some stadiums allowed fans while others did not. This created a different atmosphere every week. The Buffalo Bills played six games in front of fans last year (including playoffs), with only two coming in front of a small subset of Bills mafia (6,700 per game). The remaining 13 games had no fans in attendance.

MVP numbers in front of fans?

Last year when Josh Allen played in front of fans, he put up some very respectable numbers. He averaged 296.5 passing yards a game with 2.2 touchdowns. Also, he completed 65.4% of his passes and had less than one turnover a game. He was also able to get it done with his legs averaging 36.7 yards a game. To put that in perspective, he averaged more passing yards than Aaron Rodgers (274.5) and similar touchdowns per game to Patrick Mahomes (2.3). Not only was he a threat with his legs, but he also did not have a single fumble in those games. The Bills’ record in front of fans was only 3-3, even with Josh’s performance.  Also, note that this was a very small sample size.

Less yards more accurate

With no fans in attendance, he put up similar numbers, averaging 275.5 yards per game and 2.2 touchdowns. He completed almost 70% of his passes and averaged a turnover a game. Also, averaged 26.6 rushing yards a game and put up a little over half a rushing TD a game. The Bills went 12-1 during this stretch and beat the Patriots twice.

Better with fans?

The stats are similar, but, in my opinion, Josh Allen played better with fans than he did without. He averaged more passing and rushing yards a game while scoring at around the same rate and turning the ball over less. With fans he averaged .8 interceptions a game with no fumbles; without fans, he averaged .5 interceptions and .5 fumbles. The difference may seem small, but every possession counts. He also had a higher QBR with fans with a rating of 97.7, without fans he had a rating of 95.7.

What do you think? Does the presence of Bills Mafia help Josh’s game? What can we expect when we have full stadiums to cheer on Josh and our Bills?

Below are averages of Josh Allen’s stats with and without fans during the 2020 season:

Fans/No FansPassing yardsPassing TDNet TurnoversCompletion %Rushing yardsYards per pass attemptQBR3rd down %Passing yards NFL ranking
No Fans275.52.2169.8%