We all know Bills quarterback Josh Allen has a rocket for an arm and can throw long.
We also know that he didn't have the best group of offensive linemen or wide receivers to work with a year ago as a rookie.
While Allen's ability is not in doubt, how effective was he on passes of at least 20 yards? According to Sports Info Solutions data, Allen ranked at No. 28 of 31 quarterbacks last season in its Total Points metric.
He was among nine quarterbacks who scored negative points with minus-3.1. The top three in the league were Seattle's Russell Wilson at 35.2, Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes at 33.5 and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers at 31.8.
Here is the explanation of the metric:
The core assumption of passing Points Earned is that each throw has a certain expected outcome based on information like the route, the depth, and the coverage. From that point, the passer and receiver split responsibility for how well they perform above that expectation. Throwing off-target passes and deserved interceptions (caught or not) will bury a signal-caller, while he will be rewarded for leading receivers to more yards after catch and making something out of a broken pocket.
Here is where Allen ranked in various categories, per SIS:
- No. 12 with 59 long passes attempted.
- No. 27 in completion percentage on long passes (at least 30 attempts) at 27.1%.
- No. 19 in on-target percentages at 50.8%.
- No. 1 in most interceptions on deep pass attempts with seven and only five touchdowns (Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger was the leader with 11 TDs on deep balls).
- No. 15 in On-Target passes on deep balls, with 30.
- No. 21 in yards per completion, at 33.7.
Pro Football Focus had Allen as 26th of 32 on deep completion percentage.
While the Bills have added pieces to help Allen become better overall, even he acknowledges that it might be wise to go for the home run less often and use his check downs.
"It’s going to be something I’m looking forward to doing a little more of," Allen said last week. "Obviously getting the ball into our playmakers' hands, making the right decision, that’s what it all kind of comes down to. Check downs aren’t usually a cop out, it’s usually the smartest play when everybody drops back, get it to a running back, get it to a tight end, get it to our slot and let them make the play.
"A 2-yard throw can turn into 20 and we have to understand that. I have to do a better job of understanding all of that stuff. It’s still a learning process and I’m anxious and I’m eager to do that."