The last two NFL MVPs came out of nowhere. That’s the argument NFL.com’s Adam Schein made this week when listing his dark-horse MVP candidates. At the top of his list was Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen.
Lamar Jackson went from running QB to leading the league in passing touchdowns. The year before, Patrick Mahomes only had one career start entering the season. Allen made strides in his second year, too, and with the team placed around him, says Schein, he could explode in 2020:
I think this team is going places. And I think this aerial attack is about to explode. Buffalo GM Brandon Beane brilliantly traded for Stefon Diggs, giving Allen a legit No. 1 receiver. Those two will make beautiful music together. And don’t forget about Allen’s great chemistry with John Brown and Cole Beasley, which will only get better in their second season together.
With Tom Brady in Tampa, Buffalo will take the AFC East with 11 or 12 wins. Allen will put up monster numbers — with his arm and legs — to complement McDermott’s great defense. This is the player to watch on a team to watch. Big things coming.
Allen is going to have to take a big step forward in 2020 to be in the MVP conversation. Jackson was responsible for 43 touchdowns in 2019, while Mahomes had 52 the year before. Allen had just 29 scores last season, so you can see how far he has to go to grab national headlines.
With the defense set up to be the backbone of the team, Allen will be the face of the franchise if they can put together a run through the AFC West and NFC West. The team has high-profile, nationally televised games for him to make his mark as he did on Thanksgiving a year ago. He can do it, but as Schein calls it, he is definitely a dark horse.