Josh Allen appeared each bit an MVP candidate in Week 1’s trouncing of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.
The Buffalo Bills quarterback put his arm on full show in a 297-yard, three-touchdown effort the likes of which even All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey had no reply. The accuracy that has become the hallmark of his improvement as an NFL quarterback manifests in an 83.9% (26 of 31) completion charge that set a franchise document for a regular-season sport.
When the Rams took away the deep ball, he did not pressure issues. When they did not, he made them pay. And when he ran? Well, good luck.
That run up and over eight-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner embodies the Josh Allen expertise. His conventional quarterback abilities — arm energy, accuracy, area command — make him particular. Add in his bodily presence as a ball service, and he makes the brief checklist of elite NFL skills.
That model of play can also be the largest supply of discomfort in Buffalo. Allen led the Bills in dashing Thursday with 10 carries for 56 yards, together with the 4-yard rating. There was a couple of event through which he appeared to search contact. In doing so, he uncovered himself to repeated bodily punishment that raises short- and long-term considerations about his well being.
Can Allen stay wholesome along with his enjoying model?
The short-term considerations are apparent. The Bills entered the season as Super Bowl betting favorites. Nothing from Week 1 has altered that standing. Buffalo has a stout protection, a revered head coach in Sean McDermott and a proficient corps of playmakers that includes Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis and Dawson Knox.
But make no mistake. Allen is the explanation No. 1 for Buffalo’s standing as Super Bowl favourite. If he sustains a major damage through the season, Case Keenum would take over at quarterback, and Buffalo’s championship goals can be all however dashed.
Allen’s conscious of the considerations. His physicality has been a featured half of his sport since he joined the NFL in 2018. He addressed them on Wednesday after final week’s show in entrance of a primetime viewers renewed worries.
“I feel I could be higher in that facet,” Allen advised reporters in a information convention on Wednesday. “But given the circumstances of what it was, understanding the move of the sport, I do issues typically which can be crucial in my eyes to assist our staff win a soccer sport. That’s all it’s.
“But on the finish of the day, availability is the perfect potential. So, simply understanding that — and getting down and never taking too many hits, clearly that is year-in and year-out.”
Allen’s “year-in and year-out” acknowledgment addresses the long-term considerations. Even if he will get by this season comparatively wholesome and with a Super Bowl ring, the cumulative influence of the collisions he endures are sure to take a toll. Look no additional than Cam Newton.
Injuries finally took their toll on Cam Newton
Newton joined the Carolina Panthers in 2011 as a rookie with a profile related to Allen’s. Allen stands 6-foot-5 and 237 kilos with a cannon of an arm and working again abilities. Newton stands 6-5 and 245 kilos. He likewise joined the league with a cannon of an arm and working again abilities.
Newton exceeded the expectations that got here along with his No. 1 draft-pick standing as his unprecedented abilities resulted in Rookie of the Year honors. His 706 yards and 14 touchdowns on the bottom alone would have put him in rivalry for the award.
In every of his first 5 seasons, he ran the ball greater than 100 occasions per 12 months with dashing totals starting from 585 to 741 yards. At his greatest in 2015 he was a league MVP who led his staff to the Super Bowl. He was a Pro Bowl stage quarterback and Carolina’s greatest working again wrapped up in a single bundle.
But it wasn’t sustainable. Injuries mounted. His efficiency confirmed indicators of decline in 2016, a 12 months after his MVP marketing campaign and his sixth season within the NFL. In 2019, he acknowledged that he’d performed by lingering shoulder points since that 2016 season, a span that noticed his downfield accuracy decline. It wasn’t simply his shoulder. There have been likewise foot accidents, strolling boots, concussions and ankle surgical procedure.
In 2017, nameless staff officers whispered considerations that his physique was breaking down. In 2020, staff proprietor David Tepper mentioned the quiet half aloud when requested about Newton’s future with the franchise. His response: “Is he wholesome?”
He wasn’t. Newton had performed in simply two video games the earlier season, and the Panthers finally launched the perfect participant in franchise historical past after 9 seasons in Charlotte. Newton went on to take over for Tom Brady in New England in an eight-touchdown, 10-interception passing marketing campaign that fall earlier than returning to Carolina for what amounted to a nostalgia tour as Sam Darnold’s damage substitute in 2021. Every week into the 2022 marketing campaign , Newton will not be on an NFL roster.
This is the destiny the Bills need Allen to keep away from. In his first 4 seasons, Allen averaged 105.5 carries and 581 dashing yards per 12 months. Most of these carries finish with successful. That’s as well as to the 118 sacks and extra quarterback hits he has endured. So far, he has remained comparatively unscathed, as Newton did by his first 5 seasons.
Does Newton’s profession trajectory imply that Allen’s will traverse the identical path? Of course not. But the parallels are impossible to ignore. Meanwhile Allen’s bodily on-field heroics proceed to draw deserved reward and celebration.
There’s no simple reply as Allen’s play continues to produce wins and highlights. But it behooves each Allen and Bills to search out the correct steadiness.