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Bills legend Jim Kelly can’t hide his excitement over Josh Allen’s rise

Jim Kelly Josh Allen Bills

Through the first three games of Josh Allen’s third NFL season, the Buffalo Bills quarterback is on pace to set a number of single-season franchise records and is a surprise MVP candidate.

Allen ranks second in the league in passing yards (1,038) and passing touchdowns (10) and has the undefeated Bills atop the AFC East.

In fact, Allen has been so impressive this season, he’s evoking memories of the greatest QB in Bills history: Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, who led Buffalo to four consecutive AFC championships from 1990-93.

On Sunday, before the Bills’ wild 35-32 victory over the Los Angeles Rams — in which the Bills blew a 28-3 lead at home before Allen tossed the game-winning TD pass after a questionable pass interference call — Kelly shared his thoughts on Allen’s breakout.

“This is the first time I’ve ever really, really been excited about a quarterback on our team,” Kelly told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve had some, and it was always, ‘We’ll see. We’ll see. … Yeah, he’s got the potential, but we’ll see.’ With Josh, I think he’s proven to everybody he can play. Now he just has to stay healthy. Number two, being in the same system a number of years is going to help. And three, it’s getting the players around him.”

Allen’s undoubtedly been helped by the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs, whom the Bills acquired during the offseason. Diggs ranks fourth in football with 288 receiving yards.

After Kelly hung up the phone, he watched Allen toss four more touchdown passes in the victory over the Rams. In doing so, Allen accomplished something even Kelly never did: throw four touchdown passes in consecutive games.

In total, Allen’s 12 touchdowns (including rushing) through three games has surpassed Kelly’s record (10) in his career-best 1991 season.

Kelly credited the continuity Josh Allen has developed over three seasons with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

“Baker Mayfield has been in like three different systems,” Kelly said about the Cleveland Browns QB who was selected six spots ahead of Allen in the 2018 draft. “You cannot do all the things you’re capable of doing if you’re always thinking. When you have to think all the time instead of reacting, that takes a little bit of your game away… I was always blessed, and I know [Dan] Marino was too, and John [Elway], that we had the same system. That’s one of the things I talk to Tom Brady about…is that consistency, being in the same system all the time, and you don’t have to think when you’re going up to the line. It automatically comes natural.”