It’s december 22nd, 2017. The setting? Boise, Idaho. Wyoming Cowboys fans trickle into Albertsons Stadium. Only two days prior news broke that their starter, Josh Allen was coming back after missing the last two and a half games due to a shoulder injury.
Now, it’s time.
Josh Allen’s last chance to win a bowl game suiting up for Wyoming.
He will not be denied – This is it.
The last big game before he enters the NFL Draft. His last chance to show the football world that he’s worthy of a first round pick. That he’s the guy you want to build a franchise around. 154 Passing yards and 3 touchdowns later, he walks away with the MVP award for the game.
Fast forward five or so months and the Buffalo Bills are on the clock at the 2018 NFL Draft. Pick number 7. Rodger Goodell takes the podium. With the seventh pick of the 2018 NFL Draft the Buffalo Bills select Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming. So it begins. It was just four short years ago that Josh Allen was arriving at Reedley Junior College in California after receiving no D-1 offers. Now he’s a first round pick. He’d been told he wasn’t good enough to go D-1, so what? He balled out at Reedley and got a D-1 offer. He was told he wasn’t good enough to make it to the NFL, so what? He’s now a first round pick and ready to put a franchise on his back. Josh Allen was built for this. All he needed to do was refine his game and make sure he could be the guy the Bills were looking for.
When he took the field in the 2018 pre-season Josh Allen looked impressive, but still the Bills opted to start the legendary Nathan Peterman. By the 3rd quarter of week 1 Peterman was benched after posting a 0.0 passer rating against the Baltimore Ravens and Josh Allen was in. 74 passing yards and 26 rushing yards were all the stats Josh Could muster in a 47-3 thrashing from the (at that point at least) Joe Flacco led ravens. It wouldn’t be until week 3 that Allen would pick up his first career win against the Minnesota Vikings in 27-6 victory. This was also the game where Allen would pick up one of the first big highlight plays of his career hurdling Linebacker Anthony Barr. One of the most athletic highlights I’d seen from a Quarterback at the time. Allen traded wins and losses over his rookie year and missed four games due to injury. Allen’s 2018 campaign ended with 2,074 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 12 interceptions coupled with 631 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. The stats aren’t amazing… but he’s talented. There’s clearly a high ceiling there – Let’s build.
Going into the 2019 season Josh Allen was named as a captain for the Buffalo Bills. The franchise had confidence in him and his men listened to him in the locker room. Now it was time to see what Josh could do with a year in the NFL under his belt. Well to put it bluntly they exceeded all expectations. Despite many analysts concerns about Josh being a consistent start due to either injury or accuracy concerns he smashed almost everyone’s opinions of him by leading his team to a 10-6 record and the first playoff birth of his young career. After squeezing their way into a wildcard slot against the Houston Texas the Buffalo Bills would unfortunately come up short, despite almost 100 rushing yards and a receiving touchdown. It’s a tough way to exit the playoffs but you could tell. Allen was about to blow up. He finished the 2019 season with 3,089 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 9 interceptions with just over 500 ground yards and 10 scores.
As I’m writing this, it’s the runup to week 7 of the 2020 NFL season. Allen has come out to a 4-0 start but unfortunately dropped his last two games to the two best teams in the AFC. The Mike Vrabel led Tennessee Titans and defending superbowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. So sitting at 6-2 where do the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen go from here? Well, onwards and upwards. Allen has so far, in my mind at least made a great case for himself being an MVP this season. He’d be a lock if a man named Russell Wilson didn’t exist. Allen looks better in every single facet of his game this year. His passing mechanics are smoother, he’s more accurate and with the addition of superstar wide out Stefon Diggs…he’s more dangerous. Currently sitting at 16 touchdowns and 2 interceptions along with 1,711 yards, Allen is on course to have over 35 passing touchdowns and 4,000+ yards though the air. Josh Allen keeps getting better and it said it during the off-season.
Josh Allen WILL be one of the best Quarterbacks in the National Football League!
If he keeps winning, if he keeps improving I’d even go so far to say that you’re looking at a hall of fame signal caller, a future MVP winner, a future superbowl champion. Still, he gets very little respect. That’s why I started with his lack of D-1 offers, his junior college career, his tumultuous rookie season, because this is what he does. He works hard and he gets better.
This is how confident I am. If in 5 years Josh Allen doesn’t have either an MVP or Superbowl ring to his name, I will get a tattoo on my chest that says “Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer” That’s how sure I am of Joshua Patrick Allen!
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(Title Image Photo Credit: WKWB)