Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn coached against Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen during his first start in the NFL.
In 2018, the Chargers defeated the Bills 31-20 in Week 2 of the season. Los Angeles picked Allen off twice and sacked him five times for a loss of 36 yards. But the young quarterback out of Wyoming still threw for a season-high 245 yards and one touchdown while completing just 55% of his pass attempts.
It wasn’t his best start, but not many rookies take command of an NFL game in the first start of their career either. It’s a learning process and over the course of his first season, Allen showed that, and he’s continued to show that during his first three years.
On Wednesday, during a video conference call with media, Lynn praised him for it and what he’s been able to do this season.
“We knew coming out of college he could throw the ball all over the place and he has that strong arm,” Lynn said. “He’s very mobile. At 240 pounds he becomes a running back when he leaves that pocket. He’s running over people, he’s making people miss, the plays that he can create with his legs are just plays that are hard to stop defensively. That’s dangerous and he’s doing a good job of that. I think he’s playing as good as any quarterback in the league right now.”
Allen currently ranks 7th in the league in passing yards (2,871) and touchdowns (21). He also leads the 4th best passing offense in the league this season, which averages 278.9 yards per game.
On Sunday, Allen and his offense will take on the Chargers for the second time in three years and it should be a high-scoring matchup as rookie quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers average the third-most passing yards (279.6) in the NFL.
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Josh Allen Has Come A Long Way
Although he’s received plenty of criticism along the way, Allen has come a long way since that start in Sept. of 2018.
He threw for just 2,074 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in his rookie season, but has improved during each season.
In his second season, he threw for 3,089 yards and 20 touchdowns while cutting his interceptions down to nine. He also improved his completion percentage from 52.8 to 58.8 and he’s improved it by another 10 points this season. He also averaged 193.1 passing yards per game that season.
This season, as the Bills look to improve their record to 8-3 for the second straight season, Allen has continued his climb and according to Bills reporter Sal Capaccio, he’s received some MVP praise from the Chargers coach as well.
Josh Allen is Having an MVP Type Season
Through the first four games of the season, the MVP talk surrounding Allen was real. He threw for 1,326 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Bills scored an average of 30.75 points a game.
The talk became even louder when Allen led a late comeback against the Los Angeles Rams while throwing for 311 yards, four touchdowns, and several big-time throws, including a 3rd and 22 completion to Cole Beasley that kept Buffalo’s game-winning drive alive.
Over the next few weeks though, Allen’s hot start simmered as Buffalo’s opponents started to play them differently.
They started to take away the deep ball with soft zones and Allen continued to try and push the ball down the field even though it wasn’t available. In turn, the Bills limped to two straight losses against the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans.
In the past, Allen might’ve continued to look down the field, but he’s shown growth this year and over the past few weeks he’s started to attack whatever defenses have given him.
Against the New York Jets, he found Beasley consistently as the Jets gave the Bills everything underneath. The Bills implemented the running game against the Patriots in tune to Zack Moss and Devin Singletary both rushing for over 80 yards. Then, against the Seattle Seahawks, the offense came alive again and Allen threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns.
As the season continues, Allen will hope to light up opposing defenses along the way but he has a tough challenge ahead of him. The Chargers have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete just 62.1% of their passes this season, which is the third-lowest in the league. They’ve also only allowed 228.7 passing yards per game.
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