Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen made NFL history during the first quarter of the team’s Week 16 game against the Chicago Bears. In throwing a 19-yard touchdown to wide receiver Gabe Davis, Allen claimed the lead in total touchdowns (regular season) over a player’s first five NFL seasons.
Josh Allen continues to make history pic.twitter.com/53CGPRf1bD— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 24, 2022
The Bills’ first score of the afternoon was Allen’s 172nd total touchdown since his rookie season. Dan Marino had a Hall of Fame career with the Miami Dolphins, and he became the pace-setter almost entirely due to his arm — throwing 168 touchdown passes over his first five seasons. Allen, conversely, has found much success as a runner. I wrote earlier this season about Allen’s pursuit of the greatness Dan Marino represents.
Of Allen’s 174 touchdowns, 38 are rushing scores — plus an additional touchdown reception. Allen represents the pinnacle of a dual-threat quarterback’s potential, with elite arm talent and explosive runs borne out of pressure plays.
It’s almost always incredible company to be in the same conversation as Dan Marino, and to this point he still holds the record for the most touchdown passes in a player’s first five seasons (168). With two games to go, it’s doubtful Allen (at 135) manages to throw 34 more touchdowns to surpass Marino’s passing TD total.
It may actually be time to begin comparing Josh Allen to San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young — who he may more favorably compare with as a dual-threat player. However, Young never reached anywhere near Marino’s passing TD total, tossing 232 to Marino’s 420 in the regular season. Young did run for 43 touchdowns, while Marino only ever managed nine regular-season scores in his career.
That said, and in no way an attempt to diminish Marino’s illustrious career, I think all of Bills Mafia would take a comparison to Young over Marino as it relates to Super Bowls. Even better, perhaps Josh Allen has a chance to leave both Marino and Young behind him in any conversation of historic greatness, once his career is over.