I wanted to take a look at Josh Allen’s first 12 games compared to every QB that has started a dozen games for the Bills since Jim Kelly, since that elusive search for a franchise QB started. I think the results may surprise you. Based only on their first 12 games alone, the QB with the best overall performance in those games was Trent Edwards. The worst? JP Losman. Where does Allen fit? Let’s dive into the numbers:
One thing to consider here: The offense that Allen played his first 11 games with last year was probably one of the worst offenses that we have ever seen in recent memory. In just one game with this offense, we saw glimpses of what could be this fall. Compare last year’s receiving core to the ones that Taylor, Orton and Bledsoe and even EJ had to put things into perspective. It is amazing Allen had the numbers he had last year, all things considered.
Personally, I am not a big believer in completion percentage but since so many QB critiques like to point to this, I wanted to include it. It’s early but Allen is towards the bottom of this list.
Allen’s 11 passing TD’s in 12 starts seem low, and compared to NFL starting QB standards, they are. But again, if we consider the offense that was in place last year it is a little easier to look at. Also, not included in these numbers are the 9 rushing touchdowns that Allen has to his name. Much more than any Bills QB in recent memory.
The stat that you don’t want to be the leader in. With every quarterback, we know that some of the turnovers aren’t always on them. But this is one that Josh probably deserves to be leading. As we know, he does have a tendency to be careless slinging the ball around.
Tyrod Taylor set rushing records for this team that I thought would never be broken. Considering that the offense that Taylor ran was designed specifically for him to run, and Allen’s wasn’t, the 643 yards in 12 starts for Allen is mind-boggling. I doubt we will see as much of this this year, but seeing Josh Allen break Michael Vick’s rushing record was a pleasant surprise to the rookie’s season.
Finally, the category that really matters long-term. Josh Allen is 6-6 in his first 12 games as a starter. The surprising thing looking at this list is Trent Edwards. Trent’s blazing hot start in Buffalo had the city on fire. Then, a hit in Arizona changed it all.
This final category is how Allen will continue to win over fans and his coaches. 4 of Allen’s 6 wins have come via game winning, the 4th coming as recently as last weekend against the Jets.
Takeaways: To me, Allen is still somewhat of a mystery. He has shown flashes in some of the categories that really matter and impact the result of a game. The rest of the season will really define who Josh Allen is and who he will be as a quarterback. I look forward to watching him climb up these lists and leave the other failed franchise QB’s behind.