Buffalo Bills: Tapping into the untapped potential of Josh Allen

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Josh Allen
Jan 24, 2021; Kansas City, MO, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) gestures at the line against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Where Josh Allen has improved

While raising his ceiling Josh Allen has significantly raised his floor. His bad throw percentage (percentage of bad throws per pass attempt excluding throwaways and spikes) has dropped every year (25.7%, 20.3%, and then 16% a year ago) and his worst game a year ago as far as bad throw percentage (24% Week 5 vs Kansas City) ranks as the 16th worst game in terms of bad throw percentage of his career.

At this stage of his career, even his worst games in horrible weather are a decent step above the level of play we saw from him as a rookie and second-year player. Allen has done a lot of work to make himself more accurate as a passer and the Bills also deserve credit for the way that they have brought him up.

Leaving rookie Josh to fend for himself with Zay Jones and Robert Foster as his top wideouts might’ve been a stroke of genius by the Bills front office. No disrespect to those guys, but the game has to feel much easier for Josh now that he is throwing to Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley who can get separation almost at will.

It was thought that it was impossible to teach accuracy, but Josh Allen has destroyed that narrative by getting more accurate each year. His intended air yards per attempt dropped 2.5 yards from his rookie year to last year (from 11.0 to 8.5) but his completed air yards per pass attempt is up from 3.5 to 4.7. This shows how much better Josh has gotten in all levels of his game, as he has become an elite field general that can beat the defense at all three levels. His deep passing accuracy has improved and he has gotten much better at taking what the defense gives him, although “hero ball Josh” still does rear his head every once in a while.