After this Thursday night’s game it would appear that the Minnesota Vikings defence might not be the same unit as it was last season, but for the week three coaching tape I had to look at the break out game from Josh Allen for this amateur adventures in film post.
The first thing I think it is important to say is that although Josh Allen finished with a passer rating of 111.2, his performance was a little bit mixed but that isn’t perhaps surprising given that he only had a completion percentage in the fifties whilst in college. The obvious thing that will have tantalised the Bills’ coaching staff is his arm as he can and did make some amazing throws, including jumping in the air on one play in the second half. However, the flow of the game meant that most of what was impressive happened in the first half if not the first quarter. His first touchdown of the game demonstrated his impressive athleticism even before he did his best superman dive to get to the pylon. The Bills’ offensive coaching were clearly helping him with a lot of play action when passing and he was not asked to sit in the pocket and make complex reads but make quick decisions and get the ball out. There was a play in the second half when he did drop back nicely, sit and then deliver the ball sharply but he doesn’t have the smoothest footwork and he will often have his coaches heart in his mouth as he believes in his arm and will let it go. However, he will really have to work on the fine details of being an NFL quarterback and one of them that was highlighted through the frequent play action plays was his frankly perfunctorily fake handoffs where the ball was more gestured at the running back than offered and it is the small details like this that could really help him as it will keep the defence off balance by making them commit to defending the run. It definitely began to bug me through the game so I’ll treat you all to the fake Andy Dalton pulled off last week and it shows the power of working on a fundamental of being a quarterback so watch this.
In the second half as the game drew on the Bills very much started to run the ball to run out the clock, but take nothing away from this young man who has given his team a spark after they really struggled in the first two games and he does not have a great offensive line or skill players. He did spin into trouble a couple of times, and was very lucky that a ball that was stripped because he spun with the ball held out was recovered but I have no doubt the coaches will have been highlighting that this week. It is far too early to tell how far he can go, but Josh Allen definitely has talent and the big question is how he develops with NFL coaching, which will be crucial to see if he can become the franchise quarterback the front office of Buffalo are hoping he’ll be. As I say a lot, only time will tell but he at least has the tools to work with and as more and more college concepts find their way into the NFL he has a fighting chance.