We need to talk about Josh Allen.
To survive in the NFL, or just to survive in this world in general, you have to adapt.
And not just once. You have to keep adapting.
I didn’t think Josh Allen would be successful in the NFL when he came out of Wyoming. Not as a quarterback anyway- I thought he might have been a generational Tight End.
Tim Tebow might not have been able to make that transition, but Matt Jones, Logan Thomas and Feleipe Franks figured it out. And I thought Josh Allen could have been the best of that group.
But he proved me wrong. He proved a lot of people wrong. And the way he did that? He put the pedal to the floor at all times. Ran hard. Threw hard. Didn’t care about being neat. Didn’t care about turnovers. Definitely didn’t care about his own physical welfare.
He just had the mindset to be the last man standing at the bar brawl.
It was entertaining. And it gained him a lot of fans. After all, this is an entertainment business.
But in the course of that entertainment, the Bills started to win. And as they won, everything increased. The stakes. The expectations. The pay. The hype.
And when Josh Allen figured out NFL defenses with the help of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, he found himself as the 2020 NFL MVP runner up. That’s when the pendulum began to shift, as it always does. After the 2020 season, Josh Allen signed a massive extension- which every team with a franchise QB knows makes it harder to retain stars at other positions. The success led to later draft picks, which are harder to hit on. And it also led to Brian Daboll getting a job as the Head Coach of the New York Giants.
I’ve often said the thing that gets you to the party isn’t always the thing that keeps you at the party.
Josh Allen has to feel like this team’s success is more and more on his shoulders. So in 2022, he started to revert back to his Wyoming Cowboy barfight ways. He finished 3rd in MVP voting, and the Bills won 13 games, and a playoff game.
But, his sack percentage jumped from 4 to 5.5, he turned the ball over 19 times in the regular season, and another four times in the 2022 playoffs. Plus he had another 10 fumbles last year that the Bills were lucky enough to fall on before they added to that turnover total.
To stay at this party, Josh Allen needs to chill. He needs to trust the defense that was first in points allowed in 2021, and second in 2022- and that was suffocating the Jets last night until Allen’s four turnovers gave them new life.
After the game last night, Josh Allen had a blank stare. He knew he lost the Bills that game. “I was trying to force the ball,” Allen said. “Same shit, same place, different day. I hurt our team tonight. I cost our team tonight. This feels eerily similar to last year and I hate that it’s the same. I do.”
And all of the sudden, the thing that made Josh Allen fun- playing like he had everything in the world to prove, doesn’t seem so fun anymore.
Josh Allen has already proven himself. To me, to his front office, to his fans, to everyone in the league whose opinion matters.
He might have crashed this party, but he belongs here now. And the second he starts acting like it, and trusting the game plan, and his teammates, he’ll start having fun again.
Let that sink in.