Let’s just say that Josh Allen has a lot to learn. The Buffalo Bills 2019 NFL campaign came to an end on Saturday, as they blew a 16-0 lead and fell to the Houston Texans by a score of 22-19 in overtime in their Wild Card Round playoff matchup.
In the loss, Allen completed 24 of his 46 passes for 264 yards, which didn’t even begin to tell the story of how poorly the second-year quarterback played.
He fumbled twice and lost one, almost turned the ball over when trying to lateral it (for some inexplicable reason) late in the fourth quarter and had a couple of his passes bounce off of the hands of Texans cornerback Bradley Roby, who probably should have come away with a pair of interceptions.
Oh, and Allen also caught a touchdown pass.
The 23-year-old’s performance against Houston exemplified his season in a nutshell, which was a year full of a whole lot of, uh, interesting moments, whether they be good or bad.
On the regular season, Allen threw for 3,089 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine picks while completing 58.8 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 85.3. He also rushed for 510 yards and nine scores, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
It seemed like a rather typical sophomore season for an NFL quarterback, one in which Allen showed improvement but also had moments where he looked completely lost.
The problem is Allen is still making mistakes that you don’t even see a lot of rookies make.
Is there plenty of time to fix this? Sure, but there also seem to be legitimate questions about whether or not Allen will ever be a truly good passer in this league, as he is rather careless with the football, and his accuracy leaves much to be desired.
He had stretches where he was impressive for the Bills, but he ended the year on a rather sour note. Excluding Week 17, where Allen threw just five passes before exiting, Allen posted passer ratings in the 60s of three of his last four games (including playoffs).
Of course, Allen’s athletic ability is a big selling point, as he is almost like a mini Lamar Jackson out there, but Jackson also threw 36 touchdown passes and completed 66.1 percent of his passes this season.
And remember: both quarterbacks are two years into their NFL careers.
So yes; Allen has a cannon arm. He has great size. He is athletic. Those attributes are the exact reason why the Bills drafted him seventh overall in 2018.
But coming out of Wyoming, there were also serious questions about Allen’s refinement under center, and those concerns remain heading into 2020.
To be fair, Allen is playing behind a rather questionable Bills’ offensive line, and he doesn’t have a ton of supporting talent offensively, but that doesn’t excuse his poor decision-making nor his frequent inaccuracy.
Again, he is just 23 years old, so he has a whole lot of room for improvement, but one can’t help but be a bit bearish on Allen’s prospects moving forward.
I’ll give him a B-minus for leading the Bills to just their second playoff appearance in two decades, but I’m remaining reserved on Allen’s future.