Donny Football Hot Takes: #2 – Josh Allen wins MVP
By Donny Chedrick
Not many quarterbacks see the type of production jump from one year to the next quite like how Bills’ QB Josh Allen saw 2019 slide into 2020. For reference, I will give his rookie year numbers when he struggled, but I want to focus a lot on how he changed from ’19 to ’20 and how another leap in ’21 will lead him to the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
After being selected in the top 10 of the 2018 Draft, Allen had high expectations to fix things in Buffalo. Not every Bills fan was behind the big-armed Wyoming product because he was erratic, didn’t have terrific college samples and played against lesser competition. I was physically sitting next to one on draft night 2018 who was up in arms because his beloved Bills selected the wrong Josh. He wanted Josh Rosen from UCLA, who has yet to find his footing in the NFL.
At first, the seventh overall selection from 2018 didn’t give Buffalo much to look forward to. Allen struggled as a raw rookie, posting a 52.8 completion percentage, 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. But he did show a quality the league didn’t know he had. Allen rushed for 631 yards with eight touchdowns. The ground yardage has dipped since he’s become a more efficient passer, but he has been a threat on the ground since his career began. Fun fact: since entering the league in 2018, Allen has more rushing touchdowns than former MVP Lamar Jackson, 25 to 19. But the NFL is a passing league and after showing improvement in 2019, he took off in 2020.
The 2019 season was a step up for Allen in almost every way. 58.8 completion percentage – six percentage points higher than ’18, 20 TDs and nine interceptions as Allen led the Bills to a playoff appearance. The sophomore season again proved to be where Allen could get it done on the ground, rushing for over 500 yards and a career-high nine scores. A crushing and wild playoff loss in Houston wasn’t how Allen and the Bills wanted to end 2019, but they were on to the next step at the start of the next decade.
This is where Allen came out of nowhere to become one of the NFL’s elite. Allen started all 16 games for the second consecutive year and tossed a career-best 4,544 yards (fifth in the NFL), 37 touchdowns (also fifth), a 69.2 completion percentage (fourth), 81.7 QBR (third), 107.2 passer rating (fourth). Translation: Josh Allen was stellar in 2020. Oh, he also had eight rushing touchdowns, tied for third among QBs, behind Cam Newton (12), who was only effective on the ground, Kyler Murray (11), who is becoming a true dual-threat at the NFL level, and tied with Taysom Hill, who isn’t a real QB anyway. The bottom line is: Allen saw a significant jump in production and if the trajectory continues, he’s on to greatness in 2021.
I’m betting on Josh Allen to be above the rest of the NFL. He’s the dual threat nobody saw coming. After putting his name out there in 2020, it’s time his name goes into the history book in 2021.