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Bills’ Josh Allen evoking MVP seasons by Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson

Bills’ Josh Allen evoking MVP seasons by Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson

It would appear that after two decades of futility at the position, the Buffalo Bills have their franchise quarterback in Josh Allen. If he can keep up his start to the 2020 season, they might also have their first NFL MVP since Thurman Thomas in 1991.

Through his first four games, Allen has put up numbers comparable to those of the league’s previous two MVPs — quarterbacks Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens (2019) and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs (2018). That’s the good news for Bills fans ready to coronate Allen. His 1,326 passing yards are ahead of Jackson’s and Mahomes’ totals during the first four games of their MVP seasons, as is Allen’s 71% completion percentage. His 12 touchdown passes rank second among the trio.

As the Bills (4-0) prepare to face the Tennessee Titans (3-0) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS), Allen is on pace for 5,304 yards and 48 passing touchdowns, both of which would have led the league in 2019. It’s reasonable to doubt Allen will hit those figures; he threw for 5,163 yards and 30 touchdowns in 27 starts prior to the 2020 season. But the third-year quarterback has left no doubt as to how much he has developed since entering the league as the No. 7 overall pick in 2018.

“I had numerous talks with [offensive coordinator Brian] Daboll, [coach Sean] McDermott and [general manager Brandon] Beane. I made a vow to them … that I’d be a better quarterback and do things the right way,” Allen said. “This isn’t just me doing it, though — it’s been a small army between Daboll and [quarterbacks coach Ken] Dorsey and the front office bringing in the guys that they’ve brought in, and in the offseason, working with [offseason QB coach] Jordan Palmer. … Tt’s been a long process.cheap nike nfl jersey

“I’ve got a long way to go. In no way am I saying that I’ve arrived or I’m there.”3

Palmer said Allen has refined several aspects of his game, from tightening his base to throwing with anticipation and control. He also has been far more hesitant to scramble when plays start to break down this season.

Over the previous two seasons, only Deshaun Watson scrambled more often than Allen, but no quarterback recorded more yards or touchdowns while doing so than Allen’s 820 and eight, respectively. Factoring in designed quarterback runs, Allen ranked second in yards and attempts over that span, and he led QBs with 17 rushing touchdowns.

This season, however, Allen’s four scrambles are tied for 19th most in the NFL, and his 32 yards rank 20th. He is fourth among QBs in rushing attempts with 25 — but 14 of those came during the Bills’ season opener against the Jets and five occurred with goal-to-go. While Allen’s running and improvisational abilities allowed him to make plays with his legs entering this season, he has matured enough as a passer to allow his receivers’ routes to develop.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Allen’s 14-yard completion to John Brown during Buffalo’s win against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4 is evidence.

On first-and-10 from the Las Vegas 15-yard line, Allen faked a handoff to Devin Singletary before observing the short field. At the time Allen decided to throw the ball, his primary receivers — Brown and Stefon Diggs — had 1.4 yards and 1.8 yards of separation, respectively. Allen didn’t have the cleanest running lane, but he did have Bills left guard Cody Ford standing between Raiders linebacker Cory Littleton and enough open field to pick up a first down with his legs.