The Buffalo Bills were in need of a backup quarterback after the departure of Case Keenum, and it wasn’t long before this problem was solved via the addition of Kyle Allen. The signal caller comes to Western New York from the Houston Texans most recently, but Allen has also played for the Washington Commanders and the Carolina Panthers. Of course he did.
Anyway, what can we expect from the “other” Allen? Let’s check some stats and film to find out.
That’s right. I’m going to make you read a bit and see some numbers before we get to the film. I’m a big fan of using recent data to make a judgment on a player, but in Allen’s case I may need to make a bit of an exception. Either he fell off the cliff to end all cliffs, or his year in Houston should be considered an outlier that doesn’t represent who he really is.
What do I mean exactly?
His 59% completion rate is really, really bad. The same for his 2.6% touchdown rate, his 5.1% interception rate, and a flat out abysmal 5.3 yards per attempt. Feel free to do a full comparison to his career numbers and season stats at Pro Football Reference. But for a brief glimpse, here are his second-worst numbers in those metrics:
- 62% completion percentage (2019)
- 3.5% TD rate (2019)
- 3.3% interception rate (2019)
- 6.3 yards per attempt (2021)
Even his second-worst collection of stats are drastically better than his performance last year. Let’s talk sample size a second. In 2022 he threw the ball 78 times, which means a few bad breaks are likely to be a major issue. His largest sample was 2019, largely his second worst season.
So what are the big takeaways from his stats? Most seasons he’s been called in for spot duty and the results have been mixed. The 2022 Texans presented an awful year in spot duty for Allen with an awful team. With the mediocre Commanders and Panthers he looked a lot better. When he was mostly asked to lead the 2019 Panthers the results were... okay.
Sounds like what you’d expect out of a backup quarterback. If the supporting cast is solid, there’s no stat reason to think Kyle Allen can’t step in for a bit and be alright. I’ll do a few GIFs now, but don’t expect the narrative to change much.
A couple notes. Even though his 2022 stats were awful, I’m using last season for content as it’ll give a current look at physical traits and habits. I’m also going to feature the game against the Miami Dolphins, as they’re a better-known opponent ‘round these parts.
Play 1 — The Allen factor
There are a few things of note here. The first is that, overall, I came away liking Kyle Allen’s pocket awareness. This wasn’t only the right decision to bail on the pocket, but also very good timing. Allen was fine sticking with it if he thought a play was developing, and seemed to know when to bail.
After scrambling, I identify three possible open receivers. The shallow route wouldn’t have made it to the sticks and it was a good no-throw in my opinion. The two deeper routes were good evidence that we’ve been spoiled by Josh Allen. The fact that I thought for even a second that these were realistic options on this play tells you I’ve been watching number 17 a whole lot. No one was open until about that pause and these would be deep shots across Allen’s body on the move. These throws are terrible, terrible ideas. Unless you’re Josh Allen.
Play 2 — It’s about time
I think Kyle Allen did fine against the Dolphins for the most part, and a large reason was his ability to stay on script. Allen seems like a good option for a timing-based offense. This is a compliment that comes with a disclaimer. Specifically, that this type of offense requires the offensive coordinator to consistently call good plays, and the rest of the team plays well enough to make them work. You can see that there was a small flaw that almost led to disaster on the play.
Play 3 — Touchdown!
This pulls together some of Allen’s better traits. I hinted above that he’ll stick with a play if he sees it coming together, so here you go. It was a nice throw too, knowing he was about to get hit.
Play 4 — Chuck it and...not a high note
This breaks my usual habit of ending on a high note, but if we rationalize things...
This floating pass had a high apex thanks to Kyle Allen having no room in the pocket and throwing it wild. So you could say this is a high note. Point 1: Kyle Allen doesn’t have the arm of Josh Allen. Point 2: They both may employ the strategy of “chuck it and **** it” on occasion, however. This similar habit can have dissimilar results thanks to Point 1.
Not too many surprises here. Kyle Allen can keep a team afloat, as long as it’s a team with a little buoyancy already. The Buffalo Bills should be a good landing spot, assuming they maintain their talent level. That said, it’d be great if Kyle Allen only saw the field to take a knee for blowout Bills wins.