Josh Allen Watch: It’s Offiical, Allen to Start Sunday
One game into his rookie season and Josh Allen has been named the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.
Head coach Sean McDermott made it official on Tuesday, confirming speculation that grew out of the struggles of Nathan Peterman in the Bill’s 47-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Bills host the Los Angeles Chargers in their home opener on Sunday.
“Josh Allen will start at quarterback. I have confidence in Josh and it’s the right move for our football team,” McDermott said during his regular media session.
Allen shows flashes of his potential after getting the call with the Bills trailing the Ravens 40-0 and 11:22 remaining in the third quarter of the opener.
“I don’t feel a need to elaborate,” McDermott said in response to questions concerning the cecision. “We talk a lot in-house about the right move at the right time and right now this is the right move for us and where we are. … I have confidence in Josh. I have confridence in our football team.”
Allen already has the confidence of his teammates.
“If I had to draft a quarterback, I would pick a guy like Josh Allen,” said linebacker LeSean McCoy. “I’m not big on rookies but this kid can be special.”
Peterman did not pick up a first down in the first half of his start, and on the 10 posessions he was calling signals the Bills had a minus-7 net yards.
When Allen got the call, he was still facing Baltimore's first-team defense. And while the first possession ended in four plays, his second shot at running the offense saw Allen take the Bills 46 yards in 12 plays, setting up the team's only score, a 35-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka with 2:38 remaining in the third period.
Allen was only 6-for-15, but he did gain 74 yards. Peterman, by contrast, was 5-for-18 for 24 yards. Both quarterbacks were sacked three times, but Peterman was intercepted twice. Allen was not interception.
What's more, in four carries, Allen ran for 26 yards -- second on the Bills, five years shy of Marcus Murphy's team-leading 31 yards on six carries.
“Really, I thought he made some decisive throws finding some tight windows,” McDermott said about Allen in his post-game media session. “He used his feet at times, as well. I thought he had pretty good command of the huddle and the offense at the line of scrimmage.”
Allen began his second drive by moving the ball on his own, running for 11 and 14 yards on consecutive plays to cross midfield.
“The good thing is he can run,” running back LeSean McCoy said, “so that adds another dimension to the offense.”
He eventually drove the Bills to the 3-yard line, but with a series of errors, the Bills had to settle for the field goal.
With the ball at the three, left tackle Dion Dawks was called for unnecessary roughness, moving the Bills to the 18. then left guard Bald Ducasse was called for a false start, and it was second-and-goal from the 23.
Baltimore's Brandon Carr was called for pass interference, and Buffalo was back on the three with a first-and-goal -- briefly. Allen was sacked. There was a dropped pass. And Allen was sacked again. Hauschka got the call.
That was it for the Bills in terms of scoring, but it allowed them to avoid suffering the worst defeat in franchise history, coming up two points shy of the 46-point deficit in a 56-10 loss to New England in 2007.
“He is going to continue to grow,” said McDermott. “That’s the growth mindset our team embraces. Experience is important. He’s going to get a valuable opportunity being where he is going to be this weekend, behind the steering wheel. There is no substitute for the experience when you are behind the wheel.”
Bills’ receiver Zay Jones was comfortable with the decision.
“I love Josh,” said Jones, who led the team with three catches for 26 yards, all with Allen in the game. “He plays hard. He did some good things when he came in there in the second half. He came in there and gave us a little bit of a run, but we need to focus more on the entire team – not just the quarterback – offensive line, running backs, wide receivers.”
And he earned respect from the Baltimore defense, disappointed at losing it's shutout bid.
“As a defense, you always want the shutout,” Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “But he came in the game, and he did a good job moving the ball, made some plays with his feet. We’ve just got to do better executing, especially when it’s a change at quarterback.”
For full coverage on Allen and the Bills, the best choice is the Buffalo News.