Buffalo Bills: What to look for from Josh Allen on Sunday
Josh Allen has a chance to win the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback job on Sunday. What does he need to do to win the job?
Josh Allen can win the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback job on Sunday.
After the NFL Draft and leading up to training camp and the preseason many “experts” and analysts stated that Allen needed to sit and learn the job and develop. Some thought he should sit for at least a few weeks, others thought he should sit for the entire season.
But as training camp and the preseason progressed Allen showed improvement beyond what many was thought possible. Through this Allen now finds himself starting the third preseason game on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. With a strong performance Allen could very well win the job.
What does he need to do to win the job? Let’s take a look at some things he needs to do on Sunday to put himself in position to win the job and be the Bills starting quarterback Week 1 in Baltimore.
Show continued footwork improvement
Allen has already shown drastic footwork improvement from his days at Wyoming. It has been chronicled by several NFL writers including Vic Carucci and Brian Baldinger about just how much Allen has improved his footwork mechanics since becoming a Buffalo Bill.
It has been on record that prior to training camp Allen had been working with his quarterback coach Jordan Palmer to improve his footwork. Allen has also been receiving extensive work on this area with the Buffalo Bills. Thus far it has shown to be working immensely.
Allen has shown improved footwork at training camp and in the Bills preseason games. If he continues to show that he has corrected the flaws he once had than it will show to the Bills coaching staff that he is not at risk to fall back into his bad footwork habits and is ready to start in Week 1.
Continue to show the moment is not too big
In both of his preseason appearances Josh Allen has not shown that the moment is too big for him and has not appeared to be rattled by the moment.
Allen has shown to be poised, calm and collected in his appearance at home against Carolina and on the road in Cleveland. In fact, the preseason game in Cleveland had about as much hype as a preseason game could have due to the Bills facing Tyrod Taylor and Allen going head to head against Baker Mayfield.
Allen was not moved by the moment and delivered a strong performance and was the best quarterback on the field that night. The hype is getting taken up a notch on Sunday, however. Allen will be getting the start at home on Sunday for a nationally broadcast game.
The hype and moment will be at a level that Allen has not yet experienced. If he can once again show that the moment is not too big for him and look poised, calm and collected on Sunday he will display to the coaching staff and give them the confidence that he is ready to start Week 1 because he will show that he does not let the moment rattle him.
Put together a “complete” game
In the first preseason game Josh Allen showed the ability to complete the downfield passes. In the second preseason game he showed the ability to hit the short and intermediate passes.
A big knock on Allen coming out of college was that he struggled to complete the short and intermediate passes with consistency. That has not been a problem for him thus far in the preseason. Allen could help secure the starting job for himself on Sunday by once again showing he can complete the short and intermediate passes with consistency, and also sprinkle it in with some long downfield passes.
If Allen shows he can play a “complete” game on Sunday it might be hard to keep him off the field in the regular season.
Show he is the best quarterback for the job
Sean McDermott has stated since his first day as Bills head coach that he will always play the best player that gives the team the best chance to win. If Allen shows that he gives the Bills the best chance to win again on Sunday than that will be another sign that he will likely be the Bills opening day starter.
Allen was a No. 7 overall pick for a good reason – he has traits and attributes that later round quarterbacks like Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron don’t have. Allen can make and attempt plays that the other two cannot.
Continue to win the locker room over
After the Bills preseason game last week you heard veterans and rookies alike come out and speak about Josh Allen and how impressive he has been and is. Players like Lorenzo Alexander, Micah Hyde, Andre Holmes, Shaq Lawson and Ray-Ray McCloud all raved about Josh Allen.
They spoke about how they have confidence in him, how his skill set is off the charts, and how he has not looked like a rookie whatsoever. When you have a veteran like Lorenzo Alexander coming out and speaking about how he trusts you to start the season then it is becoming very obvious that he is winning the locker room over and that Josh Allen’s teammates are beginning to realize he is the best man for the job and want him to start the season.
If Allen continues to impress and win over his teammates this week, Sean McDermott will be hard pressed to not name him the Bills starting quarterback.
Sunday’s game will be about as exciting as it gets for a preseason game. Bills fans will be eager to see if Allen can step up against a real first-team defense and play successful football and win the Bills starting quarterback job.
If I were to wager I would bet that if Josh Allen has a good game on Sunday and checks the box against each of the five items I listed above that he will indeed be the Bills starting quarterback Week 1 in Baltimore.