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Do We Have a Josh Allen Problem?

Well… Do we have a Josh Allen problem?

Have you ever played racquetball? You know: The sport where you’re locked in a room with high, white walls–a veritable monochromatic echo-chamber–and you slam a very bouncy ball around, making enough noise to drive anyone half-mad? Yeah… That sport.

Well, splashed over the message boards, crackled on AM radio shows, and spilled out from YouTube specials across the land, the echoing madness of that question is relentless.

And I’m sure none of you Bills ACTUAL fans want to hear more questions about Allen: Is he washed up? Did the league catch up to him? Is his former demon of inaccuracy rearing its ugly head, again? Effectively, we true Bills fans are sick of being stuck in a racquetball court of Josh Allen inquiry. Go ahead and turn on WGR 550 AM, and somewhere between Schoop’s endless drivel about his upteen-millionth sub-divisional fantasy hockey team’s recent loss, you’ll hear the ongoing JA17 Inquiry. Dogmatic callers who couldn’t tell a 10-yard-out from a post pattern blather on about whether or not we have an Allen problem.  

It’s literally a Spanish Inquisition staged inside of a racquetball court.

You know what I think would be bigger than any “Josh Allen Problem”? An actual, cogent reasoning behind what’s actually stopping the Allen Express. And I think I’ve found a fair assessment, from somebody who has the pelts on the wall to make it. Earlier this week, CBS Sports analyst Zach Gelb hosted a telling interview with former Buffalo Bills Defensive Coordinator, and current NFL analyst, Leslie Frazier. Near the end of the interview, Gelb asked Frazier, point-blank:

“When you look at Josh, using your defensive coordinating mind… If you were going up against him as a defensive coordinator, what would you try to do to Josh Allen, with what you’ve been seeing on tape, recently?”

Leslie boiled it down, pretty neatly, in the following response:

“In the past, people were always concerned about his mobility, and now he’s running a whole lot less, and becoming more of a pocket passer–and that may change, under Joe Brady… But if you don’t have to worry about him running and making those splash plays with his legs, then you’re just going to just play coverage, like teams are doing, and they’ve gotten some big plays just playing coverage: without bringing pressure sitting back and playing zone, saying he’s not going to run, and it’s worked out well for teams… So you just copy, and that’s what everybody’s doing. They’re just copying what they saw the Jets do in the first game of the season, what New England did, what Cincinatti did… Just sit back, play zone…”

I really think Frazier nailed it, and I want to tip my hat to his insight. Many of us have hoped that Allen would one day transmogrify into the kind of pocket-passing menace that Tom Brady or Peyton Manning was. The problem is that he’s not that guy, and I think we’re finding out–in an all-too-visceral and heart-rending retreat to the drought-era winning percentage we’re currently staring at–that Josh Allen IS NOT the problem.

Even Jerry Sullivan–the Haterade-blinded squirrel of Bills negative nancyism–found a nut, X’ing that: 

“The Bills are 17-1 in the regular season when Josh Allen has 10 or more carries. He hasn't run 10 times in a game this season.”

For once, I agree with King Naboob of Negativty: It’s the misuse of Allen that’s been the root of the problem. 

So, for those of you in the back of the venue: JOSH ALLEN IS NOT THE PROBLEM!

How we’re using JA17 is.

Now, the question is: Will McDermott & Co. allow Joe Brady to let Josh run? We’re about to find out, as the Jets fly into Orchard Park for this afternoon’s rumble.

Go Bills!

-Tim Avery - 11/19/2023

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