Josh Allen has already drawn comparisons to the greatest Buffalo Bills quarterback of all-time, and here’s another one:
On Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, he became the first signal caller since Jim Kelly to lead the Bills to back-to-back 3-0 starts.
Buffalo has had 11 such starts, but not consecutively since 1991 and 1992, the first two years of a four-year run in which the Bills went to the Super Bowl and lost.
In becoming one of five teams to register their third victory (before 2-0 Green Bay played Sunday night and Baltimore-Kansas City, both 2-0 square off Monday), the Bills held a 28-3 lead with 8:05 left in the third quarter, then needed a three-yard TD pass from Allen to tight end Tyler Kroft with 15 seconds remaining to pull out a 35-32 victory.
A play before the winning score, the Bills appeared to have been stopped on a fourth-down gamble, but Rams corner Darious Williams was called for pass interference on Gabriel Davis. That allowed Allen, a three-year starter, to complete his eighth fourth quarter comeback.
He wound up connecting on 24 of 33 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns to go along with a controversial interception which saw John Johnson III wrestling the ball from Kroft in the third quarter on a call even FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira said was wrong.
Allen, who also fumbled in the second half, was kicking himself after the game, taking the blame for the team blowing the lead.
As good leaders do.
“I’ve got to be better for our team and our offence … I can’t throw an interception and I can’t fumble the ball, and then lose my cool like that,” said Allen, referring to a 15-year unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he took that a nearly ended the Bills final drive. “But we bounced back. Proud of our guys.”
Allen, who also scored on a one-yard run, is off to a sensational start. Approaching the quarter-pole of the season, he is neck-and-neck with Russell Wilson as the leading MVP candidates. The 311 passing yards was his lowest total yet. He was the first QB to surpass the 1,000-yard mark. He has 10 touchdown passes along with just one pick.
He’s also had a hand in 12 of Buffalo’s TDs, establishing a new record for the most in team history through three weeks.
The previous standard was held by, guess who, Jim Kelly.
Could Allen be the next Kelly? He could be better.
OFF THE TOP
Allen said he told Rams DT Aaron Donald to “take it easy on me” before the game. Donald didn’t listen. The two had a big collision near the goal line, while Donald recorded a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. “He’s the best at what he does,” Allen said. “If we see them again, we need a better plan for 99.” The only way they see each other again this season is in the Super Bowl. It’s not a crazy notion. … A dark horse MVP candidate heading into season, Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, had his worst day with three interceptions in Arizona’s 26-23 loss to the Lions. That’s right, the Detroit Lions, who had lost their past 11, and 14 of their past 15, and blowing double-digit leads in four straight games dating back to last season. The jobs of head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn are safe, at least for the time being … According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Falcons are the first team in NFL history to lose twice in one season while holding a lead of at least 15 points in the first quarter, and they’ve now done so in back-to-back weeks. Dan Quinn probably didn’t sleep as comfortably as Patricia Sunday night … The Falcons were without cornerback A.J. Terrell, who was placed on COVID-19/reserve list after two positive tests and one negative. The results had led to more tests of Falcons, who didn’t know other players wouldn’t be held out of the game until 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
SECOND AND LONG
When is a 2-1 start a really, really big deal? When you’re the Cleveland Browns, and it marks the first time you’ve been over the .500 mark in six years, or 90 consecutive game weeks. Cleveland’s second victory of the season was over the Washington Football Club, and it gave the Browns more wins than losses for the first time since they were 7-6 in 2014. They lost their final three games of the season that year, and won just four times over the next three campaigns. The Browns haven’t made the playoffs since 2002 and have reached double digits in wins only once (2007) in the past 25 years … Washington DE Chase Young left the game with a groin injury. In his first two starts, Young had 2.5 sacks and showed he was very worthy of being the second pick of the draft … While he did play Sunday, it turns out Raiders safety Jonathan Abram suffered a sprained shoulder and chipped collarbone when he crashed into a TV cart Monday night. The NFL.com story says in other years he might have run into a “gaggle of cheerleaders and photographers” instead … Joe Montana and his wife Jennifer stopped a home intruder who tried to kidnap their nine-month old grandchild on Saturday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed. The woman, later identified as Sodsai Dalzell, fled their home but was later arrested and now faces kidnapping and burglary charges. “Thank you to everyone who has reached out,” Montana, the 64-year old 49ers quarterback who won four Super Bowls in his 15-season career, said in a Tweet. “Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well. We appreciate respect for our privacy at this time.”
Future Hall of Famer Philip Rivers threw the 400th TD pass of his career and surpassed the 60,000 yards marks when Indianapolis defeated the Jets, becoming just the sixth quarterback in NFL history to hit those plateaus. The others are Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino. Rivers, who spent 16 seasons with the Chargers before signing a one-year deal with the Colts in March, was making his 231st consecutive start. Only Favre (297) has a longer streak among NFL quarterbacks … The Panthers win over the Chargers stopped their losing streak at 10. It was accomplished without injured superstar Christian McCaffrey, who was replaced as the workhorse by Mike Davis. (13 carries, eight receptions).
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020