He had his rookie moments, such as that interception he threw late in the third quarter while trying to fight his way out of a sack. The situation called for Josh Allen to surrender, but he wasn’t having it.
There were other sacks he took that he probably could have avoided with a better sense of where to go with the ball. And there was the second pick he threw with 7:00 left on the clock and the Buffalo Bills desperately trying to rally from a two-score deficit.
That one sent most of the crowd at New Era Field heading for the exits.
However, they left knowing that all in all, Allen’s starting debut with the Bills Sunday was encouraging. Yes, it came in a 31-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that, through the first half, looked like a continuation of the ugliness of last week’s season opener at Baltimore.
But most of that was on the Bills’ defense. In a repeat of what happened against the Ravens, Buffalo’s defenders left wide patches of green available for Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon and the Chargers’ offense to exploit in allowing the run of opponents’ red-zone touchdowns to reach nine in six quarters.
The Bills’ defense still has a lot it needs to fix. Except for some moments in the second half, the pass-rush continues to be nonexistent. The secondary continues to be in disarray. Running backs have no problem ripping off long gains, as Gordon demonstrated on his 20-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
For the moment, though, this 0-2 team can at least take some solace in the fact that it has reason to believe the seventh overall draft pick invested in Allen appears as if it could have a long-term payoff.
It’s way too early to project how large that will be.
What matters in the meantime is that Allen gave a credible showing. Saying he looked like a major improvement over Nathan Peterman would be a vast understatement.
In completing 18 of 33 passes for 245 yards and his first pro touchdown, Allen did everything better than Peterman did in his atrocious one-half-plus against Baltimore. Allen threw the ball better. He ran the ball better. He commanded the offense better.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 16, 2018
If Sean McDermott is going to his “grave” on a quarterback decision, the optics are greatly upgraded if it’s the one to start Allen Sunday.
For now, though, his defense could very well be in the beginning stages of digging one for the Bills.