Free Josh Allen
He's back... and in the nick of time. As Miami looms, the Buffalo Bills must realize Allen's right arm is more blessing than curse. Take it from a Hall of Fame quarterback who sees himself in the QB.
When Josh Allen’s on, good luck finding a better sight at the quarterback position. He was on from the get-go against the Washington Commanders. The steady rain at FedEx Field could’ve been an all-out monsoon. Or a blizzard. Weather is inconsequential when the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback enters this zone.
The sixth play of the game effectively served as a mute button to everyone blathering on and on about how Allen — adjusts tie, tucks in shirt, clutches pearls — needs to structurally “change” his game.
On third and 8, defensive end Montez Sweat was in his face — instantly — and he didn’t flinch. Didn’t bail. Instead, Allen opted to do exactly what all of America (including his head coach) has been scream-scolding him not to. He improvised. He relied on instincts. Not some 20-page Terms and Conditions pamphlet. So dangerously close to getting crunched by this 6-foot-6, 262-pound behemoth, Allen didn’t hit eject and throw the ball away. No, he took a split-second to bounce on his feet and that slight pause was enough to freeze Sweat. Psych him out.
Allen essentially stared Sweat down at the poker table and went all-in.
This pause forced Sweat to pause. Which bought Allen enough space to roll right and make the sort of No-No-No-No-YES throw that has defined his career.
On the run… across his body… from his own 26-yard line… using absolutely nothing but his right arm, he Frisbee’d the ball all the way to the Commanders’ 33-yard line where it landed directly into the lap of Stefon Diggs.
He wasn’t finished.
At the line of scrimmage, two plays later, Allen called an audible before then sneaking a spiral inches above the outstretched left arm of linebacker Cody Barton to tight end Dawson Knox, a demonstration of textbook arm arrogance. Knox dropped what would’ve been a 19-yard touchdown.
The Bills settled for a field goal, but the onslaught was coming. A 35-yard TD to Gabe Davis soon followed. Which was followed by a 23-yard run deep in his own end. Allen nonchalantly side-stepped a looping Chase Young, and hit the gas. Into the fourth, Washington sent six rushers. Blitzing safety Kamren Curl had a clean shot to take the quarterback out and, instead, was embarrassed.
This time, Allen used an Iverson-like step backward to waste a free runner. To use Curl’s momentum against him and take the safety completely out of the play. Off the QB went for a 10-yard touchdown.
Topped off with a finger roll.
The Bills smashed Washington, 37-3.
Meanwhile, in Miami, embarrassment doesn’t do the outcome justice. This was more of a medieval beheading in the public square. All the team trying to catch Buffalo in the AFC East did was hang 70 points on the Denver Broncos. It’s clear Mike McDaniel spent the entire offseason concocting every possible counter for defenses in Year 2. At the moment, this offense is a horrifying juggnernaut. Far more than Tua Tagovailoa bombing deep shots to Tyreek Hill. This slaughter consisted of no-look shovel passes for touchdowns, rookie De’Von Achane rushing for 203 yards and scoring four touchdowns (one of which left six Bronco players sprawled on the grass) and “Robbie Chosen” catching a 68-yard touchdown. We’ll see another four name changes out of the veteran wide receiver before defenses solve whatever’s in McDaniel’s mind.
The Dolphins now take their pyrotechnics to Highmark Stadium for what promises to be one of the most highly anticipated regular-season games this century for the Bills.
Everyone at One Bills Drive will review their film from the Washington game, and it’ll be fun. Then they’ll pop in that Dolphins film and wonder why coaches are subjecting them to a slasher film. When it’s time to install a gameplan this week (and all future weeks), it should be abundantly clear: To hold off the surging Dolphins — to smash that Super Bowl window — the Bills unequivocally need this version of their quarterback.
Josh Allen cannot change who he is and the Bills should never ditch their ultimate trump card.
They need special Josh Allen, not sedated Josh Allen, to win a Super Bowl.
Take it from the Hall of Fame quarterback who had the same exact thoughts running through his mind his entire 20-year career.
Inside today’s column:
Why Brett Favre sees himself in Allen and — most importantly — how the balance he struck with Mike Holmgren can serve as a blueprint for the Bills’ gunslinging quarterback.
Jordan Love has his Lambeau Moment.
What was Kirk Cousins thinking?
The Steelers offense wakes up.