When the Buffalo Bills selected Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick in the NFL draft, it was certainly considered a risk. Allen is a highly talented quarterback, with a full range of physical abilities, but was viewed as generally unpolished. But when the Bills took on their Week 3 matchup on the road in Minnesota, nobody expected what was to come.
Allen put on a show, against what is considered perhaps the best overall defense in the NFL. The Vikings had been able to shut down pretty much every team they faced, dating back to last season. Going into this particular game, this was seen as one of the most lopsided matchups that would take place all season. Nobody, including Bills fans themselves, believed this team could go in there and compete with the Vikings, let alone win the game.
But that is exactly what happened. Not only did the Bills beat the Vikings, but they did it in dominating fashion. It’s truly amazing what a new, young quarterback can do to the outlook of an entire team. Allen played so well, that he infused his teammates with the energy and optimism necessary to pull off one of these types of monumental upsets. Perhaps the Vikings looked beyond this game, thinking it would be an easy one. But this is the NFL, and anything can happen on any given Sunday.
Allen’s overall stats in this game were not eye-popping, but he was able to complete 15 of his 22 attempts for 196 yards and a passing touchdown. He was also able to consistently make big plays, particularly with his legs, scoring two rushing touchdowns in the first half, including a 10-yard run just several minutes into the game. That play sparked his team, and led to the eventual 27-6 final score, which made no sense on paper.
Even if his teammates lacked the level of belief Allen has in himself, he quickly got them on board when he hurdled Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, who likely couldn’t even imagine that a quarterback could jump that high. Take a look for yourself.
Josh Allen (yes, Josh Allen) with the hurdle!
— USA TODAY NFL (@usatodaynfl) September 23, 2018
Ultimately, Allen still has a long way to go in his development process, and his transition to the NFL game. He needs to improve his form, his accuracy, and his ability to dissect pro defenses. But you can’t teach athletic ability and arm strength, and Allen has tons of it. In what is suddenly a wide open race in the AFC East, primarily due to the sluggish start from Tom Brady and the Patriots, this team could continue to surprise people. The Dolphins currently hold the top spot in the division, as one of only three undefeated teams in the league. But they are less talented than their current record suggests, and they should be able to defeated when faced with superior competition. Watching Josh Allen and the Bills the rest of the way just got a lot more interesting.