Is Allen the answer, now?
To me the answer is a no as of right now. Yes, he has amazing raw talent, and is extremely athletic but the right time for him is not now. I believe he'll be the answer someday but to start him now I think is foolish and dangerous. I don't believe it matters who's the quarterback currently because Allen nor Peterman have had a consistent opportunity to actually play their position. When we can't establish a run game, the offensive line can't block, and the receivers are dropping balls, it makes it difficult for anyone to succeed. How bad is it? Well its quiz time. Who leads the team in rushing no not Shady, not Ivory or Murphy either. Currently it's Allen who has 116 yards. Shady only has 85 and Ivory with 81. Our quarterback is currently our best rusher and he is no Michael Vick or Randall Cunningham. That is a huge reason for concern.
My hope for the Bills and Allen this year was that we would carry 3 quarterbacks and he would hold the clipboard. Peterman was a lock based on his preseason and McCarron while he didn't play great I thought may stick after the 4th quarter comeback in preseason. Once they let McCarron go I was hoping we would pick up another veteran quarterback to help Allen and develop him on the bench. Especially since we don't even have a quarterback on the practice squad. At the rate Allen and Peterman have been pressured and sacked this year the Bills are playing a dangerous game. While I hope neither gets injured do I think that putting Allen in as a raw rookie over Peterman to start really makes the team that much better? No, I don't. I was very impressed with the Vikings game and Allen did do pretty well (15-22 for 196 yards and 1 TD). However, the defense was a large part of the reason the game went that way. They were fantastic and really limited the Vikings field position.
If you look at the other games besides that it has been less than stellar. I think if we're all being realistic we're going to have a long road to make the playoffs which I don't think we will. Especially if we lose today and are 1-4. While we still could make it to the postseason based on what I've seen so far I would say it's mathematically improbable. So, what do we do then in the meantime? I think we try to pick up a veteran as an insurance policy and use them as teacher for Allen. Putting Allen in with the way things are now I don't believe is going to advance his ability or NFL knowledge that much at this point. If anything I think we risk him getting hurt and forcing him to try to make plays he shouldn't to begin with. Take for example the interception last week against against Green Bay where he just threw it up to the end zone. Anyone watching that knows you just throw it away. Now I'm sure Allen being a pro athlete knows the same in the situation but is he trying to do more than he should based on the situation at hand? Knowing the team needs to dig out of a hole and he's the leader on the field and is trying to do just that. So, is forcing plays or hurdling over defenders the best course of action? No. Granted the hurdle was amazing but also incredibly risky. What if he got a concussion or severely injured going up in the air like that? That's why the slide exists in football, to protect the quarterback.
I love his desire and the natural ability he has to play the position. He can throw 80 yards, yeah almost the entire field. That's just freakish. I'll include the link to his soul & science video from the NFL and if you haven't watched it please do. Allen is incredibly talented and watching this video makes some pretty amazing comparisons. So, I have no doubt he'll be successful but, when he has already been sacked 18 times in 4 games (7 the last game). His sack percentage is 14.9%, we're 31st in offense, 32nd in passing, and only convert 24.1% of 3rd downs. I believe Allen has currently been put in a position to fail and honestly so was Peterman. We we can't establish the run and teams are defending the pass and bringing pressure against a sub-par offensive line. The offensive line has give up 21 sacks so far which is only the 29th time in NFL history a team has given up at least 21 sacks through the first 4 games.Not to mention when we do throw to our receivers they're struggling to make the catches. But, I think the O-line carries a lot of the fault here. If you read one of my earlier posts I do go into detail about the changes from last year and my concerns regarding it. Allen did have 14 incompletions in the first half last week which was the most by a Bills quarterback since 98 (Doug Flutie). But when you have to scramble to try to make a play well that can be a recipe for disaster. Allen currently has the lowest QBR of any starter at 24.7.
So I think what the Bills should do is take Allen out and put Peterman back in. Not because Allen isn't the answer but so he can watch and learn. Get a 3rd quarterback, a veteran from somewhere who can help teach Allen the game on the sideline with a headset and clipboard. I think Allen is going to be a great quarterback and I hope he's still with Buffalo when it happens. He has such a natural ability for the position its scary. If the Bills can get him some blocking, establish the run consistently, and get receivers that can catch he'll take this team far. But until then he's not the answer on how to turn so many issues around. If we continue to go with Allen then either the first read has to get open or he'll be running for his life a lot more. 5 touchdowns in 4 games is not going to get us very far as our record shows. So my advice to Allen, hang in there, this isn't all on you and you can't do it all. We believe in you, just be careful and try not to overdo it. I think Allen will be the answer but just not now.
Check out the video if you haven't seen this it's impressive.