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90 Buffalo Bills players in 90 days: QB Josh Allen

So long, farewell...for we end our yearly series with the most important player on the roster

NFL: Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills have one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. That’s been the case since the start of the 2020 season, when their current starter announced his arrival into the “elite” tier of professional signal-callers in what was then his third professional season.

Now, entering his sixth season, there are some pundits outside of the Bills’ orbit who seem to doubt whether their quarterback remains as good as he’s been. For a group that does a great job of blocking outside noise, their QB1 is the poster child for ignoring what critics say and just balling out when necessary.

While this series is titled “90 players in 90 days,” it never ends up being just 90 players, and this year is no different. In our 99th published installment of the series (and one 100th written, as poor Braydon Johnson was released before his profile could run), we profile the most important man on the Bills’ roster.

Name: Josh Allen

Number: 17

Position: QB

Height/Weight: 6’5”, 237 pounds

Age: 27 (28 on 5/21/2024)

Experience/Draft: 6; selected by Buffalo in the first round (No. 7 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft

College: Wyoming

Acquired: First-round draft choice

Financial situation (per Spotrac): This the first year where Allen’s $258 million extension kicks in, so he’s under contract and he isn’t going anywhere. His dead-cap number is in excess of $117 million, and the Bills aren’t going to trade or release one of the three best players at the most important position in football. His cap number for the season is $18,636,281.

2022 Recap: Allen’s overall numbers were nearly identical to his 2021 regular-season output, as he finished the year with the exact same completion percentage (63.3%) and threw for just one touchdown less than his output from the year prior. He attempted 79 fewer passes but threw for only 141 fewer yards in 2023 as compared to 2022, as well. This is all the more impressive considering that he suffered an elbow injury during Buffalo’s Week 9 loss to the New York Jets, an injury that clearly hampered him for the rest of the season. His rushing numbers were nearly identical year-over-year, as well, as he attempted two more runs, gained one less yard, and scored one more touchdown than he had the year prior. In all, Allen finished third in MVP voting, as he passed for 4,283 yards and 35 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, adding 762 rushing yards on 124 attempts, scoring seven times on the ground. Allen had 13 fumbles, and his postseason output was much worse than the year prior, as he completed just 59% of his passes for 616 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Anything would have been a downturn from the otherworldly performance Allen put forth in the 2021 NFL postseason, but between the elbow injury and stout defensive efforts by the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals, Allen’s season ended on a down note. He was named to his second Pro Bowl, and he led the league in Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value metric for the second consecutive year.

Positional outlook: Allen is the clear top dog at the quarterback position, and with both Kyle Allen and Matt Barkley struggling this preseason, keeping No. 17 healthy is even more a priority than it has been in years past.

2023 Offseason: Allen was named the cover athlete for the newest Madden game, the first Buffalo Bills player to have the honor of doing so. He also began dating actor Hailee Steinfeld, which made my kids incredibly happy when they found out that their real-life superhero quarterback was dating Gwen Stacy — or at least the person who voices the character.

2023 Season outlook: The season rides on Allen’s good health and continued star play. We can all count on the latter, as Allen has proven time and again that he’s one of the most dangerous, dynamic play makers in the entire league. On the former, though, that’s a little more random, and with a suspect offensive line and some of Allen’s own tendencies (for example, holding the ball for a long time), it’s harder to project continued good health for 17 games plus playoffs every year. If the team can take that next step in utilizing a quick-strike passing game, it will help keep Allen clean in the pocket. If Allen can trust those short-to-intermediate reads rather than looking for the big play downfield so often, he can help the offensive line to do that more often, as well.

It’s hard to say that Allen has to change his style of play, and it would be foolish for him to do so, since it’s that style that has taken him — and the Bills — to where they are now. However, taking that next step and relying a little less on his own hero tendencies, and a little more on his play makers, will go a long way towards making for a happier January in Western New York. Allen is as good as it gets, and we are fortunate that he’s our guy.