By: Lucas Kochevar
It's time to believe the hype surrounding the Buffalo Bills this upcoming 2019 season. This is not the same redundant hype type talk that Cleveland fans impose on the league every year. Personally, I will be hopping on the Buffalo '"hype train" this coming season. That being said, we still don't know what to expect from second year starter Josh Allen. The sophomore QB was more promising than people expected, but still had an average season at best.
In 12 appearances Allen threw for just over 2,000 yards with 10 TDs, but the Wyoming product only completed 52.8% of his passes while throwing 12 INTs. I would like to think that he takes another step forward, but let's be careful on crowning this team with anything other than developing talent. Allen has one of the strongest arms in the league, but he has to learn how to control it. Several of the INTs thrown last year came from the rookie airing out the ball out, a tactic that is not as effective at the professional level. If Allen can't learn to control the deep ball or resort to safer check-downs in certain situations, he will not be moving forward in his progression.
Now on the positive side of things, his mobility is very unique from a player his size. Standing at 6'5, he is able to move as he racked up 631 rushing yards and 8 TDs. Now I think he might be able to apply this talent to his passing game and maybe take a page out of Pat Mahomes' book and develop his throwing on the run. I know that I just called out his accuracy when he isn't moving, but I expect his standing accuracy to improve now that he has had some time under his belt and an offseason to work on it.
Allen also should play better with the Bills gaining a lot more talent than what they had to help him. They picked up two veteran WRs with deep target John Brown from Baltimore and shifty route runner Cole Beasley. These aren't big number one targets like a Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins, but they will get their jobs done and make sure that they can bring out the most in Allen. Buffalo also did a solid job by bringing in talented center Mitch Morse after KC couldn't afford to keep him. Bringing in a center to anchor your O-Line can make all the difference as Atlanta did with All-Pro C Alex Mack.
In conclusion, Josh Allen should be improved from his 2018 campaign if he took the steps this offseason to improve. Allen will probably see a decrease in his running numbers as he should look to preserve his body from hits, but this will likely increase his passing numbers. This year the Bills should still focus on developing him. I think Josh Allen takes a couple steps forward as an NFL QB.
Projected Stats: 58.7% Completion, 3,850 Yds, 21 TDs, and 17 INTs.
Ultimately only time will tell.
Best of luck to Josh Allen and the Bills.