I would gather a lightbulb illuminated above my head, similar to many Saturday morning cartoon characters I watched as a youth when they stumbled upon a bright idea. One of my favorite football quotes popped in my head as I watched some of the perfectly placed balls Josh Allen launched flawlessly in the 90-degree heat down at South Beach. Some of the tosses appeared to be executed effortlessly, even as it rained.
“There is no defense against a perfect pass. I can throw the perfect pass.” – Dan Marino
Josh Allen is tall. He is likable. He has big hands. He is athletic. He has leadership qualities. He is huge. Allen is strong. He has a cannon for an arm. Check. All of these qualities are great, but many of the biggest busts have incredible physical attributes that get them drafted extremely high. They also end up in the Arena League, out of football, or a career backup.
This is the quarterback that came out of Wyoming throwing fastballs to a group of slow, mostly undersized, minimally talented Bills receivers during his rookie season. Infrequently, you saw what he was capable of doing. He made incredible runs at times. His pure raw talent and athleticism showed up inconsistently. His competitiveness was obvious from the beginning. He frequently lacked touch on the ball. He certainly was inconsistent with his accuracy. Brilliant flashes kept many of Bills Mafia optimistic. Others claimed he would not make it in the NFL, especially not as a franchise quarterback.
In year two, the Bills gave him more offensive weapons. He adjusted on the fly reducing the interceptions after it appeared that tossing picks was going to be routine to start last season. He was tasked to improve his accuracy on short and intermediate throws, and he did. His long ball that showed signs in year one of being one of his assets went M.I.A in year two. He overthrew receivers on a regular basis when attempting to go down field. This appeared to maybe be the solution for reducing the interceptions. The Bills still won ten games and a playoff berth.
The Bills quarterback was tasked with improving his accuracy on deep balls entering year three. More talent was brought in around him once again. So far, he accepted every action item with hard work and success. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time in his career (all against the Dolphins). Each progression has him inching his way towards elite status. He statistically recorded the third best game in franchise history throwing for 417 yards while throwing four touchdown passes. The ball placement and touch was at an elite level. It would be hard to recognize him as the quarterback with an accuracy issue. His decision making has continued to be elevated. He is getting plenty of help: excellent and consistent coaching, good play calling, nice protection, playmakers making plays, even the rookies. How about that grab by Gabriel Davis for six points?
“Winning means being unafraid to lose.” – Fran Tarkenton
Things we know about the Buffalo Bills this week:
- Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds practiced in full gear Wednesday. Very nice.
- Jason Croom was released from the Bill Practice Squad. Just two years ago he was the teams leading Tight End in both yards and receptions.
- NFL Power Rankings Week 3 has the Bills climb from five to four.