The start of the 2022 NFL season is months away, but Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is already laser-focused on the team’s Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Not only is this highly-anticipated matchup the Bills’ season opener, but it’s also the primetime opener for the NFL.
The 26-year-old spoke about the pressure of playing in such a marquee matchup while appearing on his teammate, long snapper Reid Ferguson’s After the Snap podcast, which is co-hosted by Blake Ferguson, the Miami Dolphins’ long snapper.
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When Allen was asked which game he was most excited for after the NFL released the 2022 NFL schedule, there was no hesitation.
“Obviously, Game 1. Thursday night, first game of the season,” Allen says. “Ya know, I’ve heard stories of that feeling of that atmosphere… It’s like a playoff game. It’s the anticipation of the entire season. I think it can weigh on you if you let it.”
However, Allen already has a plan to make the road game on September 8 feel more like a home game, sending an early warning to the Rams ahead of Week 1. Because the Bills’ season opener takes place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, not far from Allen’s hometown in Firebaugh, California, he says there will be a flock of Buffalo fans at the game.
“It is a California game,” Allen notes. “I’ll have quite a few people from my hometown there – it’s about a three-and-a-half or four-hour drive for them. I know they’ll show up pretty good.”
Bills Mafia is already famous for their attendance at away games, and if Allen’s hometown crew is also planning to show up in Los Angeles, viewers can expect to see a large see of blue at SoFi Stadium.
Allen Is Also Pumped to Play Against Aaron Rodgers
As for the rest of the Bills’ schedule, Allen admitted he hasn’t started thinking about any matchup past Week 1.
“Hand to god, I couldn’t tell you our schedule or who we play,” Allen said. “I really haven’t really looked that far out ahead. I try not to obviously. I know all our division games, that’s something we look forward to because obviously, we see those teams twice.”
However, Allen perked up when he remembered another one of the Bills’ primetime matchups in Week 8. On October 30, the Green Bay Packers head to Highmark Stadium for Sunday Night Football.
“Playing Aaron Rodgers is always fun. Obviously, he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. And then we’ll have this little grudge match,” Allen said, referring to “The Match,” an upcoming charity golf tournament where he’s teaming up with Patrick Mahomes to play against Rodgers, who’s partnered with Tom Brady.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to hold it above his head when he play him and I try to get into his head that way,” Allen said with a big smile.
The 2022 NFL Season Looks to Be Allen’s Best Year Yet
Regardless of how “The Match” turns out, Allen is in line to have one of the best seasons of his career.
Heading into the 2022 NFL season, Pro Football Network‘s Dalton Miller listed Allen as the No. 2 overall quarterback in the league, just behind his golf partner, Mahomes.
“The scariest part about Allen is that he’s not done progressing as a passer yet,” Dalton surmised. “He still has days where things aren’t always clicking. That means he hasn’t yet hit his ceiling, which as Michael Jordan would poetically say, ‘is the roof.’ Could Allen overtake Mahomes on this list of top NFL quarterbacks by the end of 2022?”
As of now, Allen is focused on working out the kinks with Ken Dorsey, who was promoted to offensive coordinator after Brian Daboll’s exit. Dorsey is no stranger to Allen, as he’s been the team’s quarterbacks coach since 2019
“For the last three years, I’ve had him in the meeting rooms every day,” Allen said earlier this week during OTAs, per the team’s official website.
“It’s gonna take time, even today I was just like, ‘Hey, I want you talking to me in the headset, and just let me hear your voice.’ Because that’s gonna be a little bit of an adjustment and curve and when you talk into a microphone, it sounds a little different and some words become different words and you got to decipher what that means.
“Even now, we can find a way to get better in terms of what he’s doing, how he communicates with the guys, getting on guys, and lighting some fires, it’s been good to see.”
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