Earlier this year, The Daily Campus debated whether the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen or the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive end Josh Allen was the better Josh Allen in the NFL. Since then, it’s become abundantly clear that Buffalo’s Allen is the superior player when it comes to his own namesake. But now, after yet another remarkable regular season as the Bills’ signal-caller in which he led his team to a third-straight playoff berth, Allen has just about claimed his spot as the best quarterback in the NFL. Despite falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round, Allen was arguably the best player on the field in both that contest and Buffalo’s Wild Card victory over the New England Patriots.
It’s hard to believe, but Allen was drafted by the Bills only four years ago, three of which he has been Buffalo’s full-time starter. In those three seasons, Allen and the Bills have put together a combined regular season record of 34-15 for a win percentage of .694. That is the second-best win percentage over the last three seasons in the AFC behind only Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs. Over the previous two seasons, when Allen was paired with a true All-Pro wide receiver in Stefon Diggs, the Bills have been the highest-scoring AFC team, securing the second-most first downs and converting on third downs at the second-highest rate in the NFL.
Even though he’s in a league where the likes of Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady put together one dominant season after another — and others like Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and Dak Prescott have shown flashes of greatness — Allen has separated himself from the pack with his remarkable combination of passing and rushing. Over the past two seasons in which Allen has truly bloomed from a potential All-Pro talent to a perennial MVP candidate, he is fifth in total passing yards and third in total rushing yards at the quarterback position. He also has the fourth most passing touchdowns and the third-most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. His passing prowess aided Diggs in becoming the NFL’s leading receiver in yardage and receptions just a year ago.
However, despite his regular season success, Allen has been most impressive with how he has learned to replicate his success in the NFL playoffs. Through six total postseason games over the last three years, Allen is averaging just over 348 total yards per game and has amassed 16 total touchdowns against only two turnovers. In comparison, Allen is averaging 68 total yards more than playoff superstar Tom Brady, who himself is averaging 280 total yards per game in his postseason career. To put things in perspective, Brady owns the first and fifth best passing performances in NFL playoff history, with efforts of 505 and 466 passing yards in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Despite a smaller sample size than the 44 year old Brady, when the spotlight is on him, Allen has been better and more consistent than even the best postseason performers in the history of the NFL.
In Sunday’s Divisional game versus Kansas City in which the Chiefs’ defense basically removed Stefon Diggs from the offensive attack (three catches for seven yards), Allen still managed to throw for 329 passing yards and hooked up with wide receiver Gabriel Davis for a playoff-record four passing touchdowns. Meanwhile, he also led Buffalo in rushing yards, finishing with 2.6 times more rushing yards than lead back Devin Singletary with only one more rush attempt. There were several occasions in the game where Allen created time with his legs to open opportunities for his receivers, notably when he was being pressured for almost ten seconds but still managed to convert a crucial two-point attempt in the corner of the endzone to Diggs. Before that play, Allen found Davis for a 27-yard touchdown to put Buffalo in the lead, a play that may have cemented the game in the Chiefs’ favor had Allen failed to make the fourth down conversion.
No NFL team bases their offensive approach on one player more than the Bills base their offense on Allen’s ability. A mobile quarterback with perhaps the best arm strength in the league, Allen also dominates Buffalo’s rushing attack and can hurt defenses on all cylinders. When clicking, Allen and the Bills are one of the most dangerous offenses in the league and very few teams have a true shot at stopping them (they just hung 47 points on a New England defense that ranks only behind Buffalo amongst the top defenses in the league last week). Allen’s pure talent already made him a threat once he entered the league, but as he has continued to evolve as a decision-maker and show poise and maturity on the field, he’s cemented himself into the elite tier of quarterbacks. It’s time for people to acknowledge his greatness and officially recognize him as the best quarterback in the entire NFL.