ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For the first time in years, I was not in the stadium where the Bills were playing a game. COVID restrictions have forced sacrifices on everyone, none less taxing or deserving of sympathy than a reporter not being able to watch an NFL game in person. Instead, I watched the game in the sports office with colleague Alexa Ross.
Before the third down throw to Gabriel Davis that put the Bills in front for good, I said to Alexa that this was the type of play that great quarterbacks make. It’s also a play that can make great quarterbacks.
(There actual words weren’t anything near that poetic, but you get the gist)
Josh Allen didn’t just make a play. He made an amazing, precise and incredibly clutch play. He avoided a sack, threw on the run and dropped a pass in the smallest of windows.
It’s the type of play that ascends quarterbacks and changes narratives. It might end up being a stake in the road moment for the Bills.
Of course, this performance wasn’t just about the one throw to Davis. If Allen makes that play in a game where he threw for a buck-62 and a two picks, it would have only been a blip in a vast wasteland.
This, however, was 417 yards. This was four touchdowns. This was zero turnovers. This was Josh Allen carrying the offense for 60 minutes.
“I definitely think it moves him up another level,” John Brown said.
Some Bills fans liked to whine and complain about the Josh Allen “narrative” as if it was something invented by the evil football media just to torment them. The only way you change narratives is by making plays. Allen made a ton on Sunday.
There were short passes and deep passes. Touch passes and zingers. There were third down conversions and 2nd and 24 (!!!) conversions. Allen did everything that could possibly be expected of a franchise quarterback.
Sure, it helps to have great receivers. Stefon Diggs was every bit the “number 1” with eight catches for 153 yards and his first Bills touchdown. The one he skied for near midfield was a thing of beauty and another incredibly accurate Allen throw.
Brown did his normal Brown things. Cole Beasley spent the afternoon turning Nick Needham inside out. Receivers who win often certainly make a difference.
This was still a different Allen. There were mistakes and misfires, but the stretches of bad are shrinking. The stretches of good are growing. When the Bills absolutely needed a drive, Allen delivered.
“As a quarterback in this league and you get confidence, it’s a dangerous thing,” Micah Hyde said. This time, only the other team that’s in danger.
It’s only one superb game. It’s only the Dolphins. It’s only week two. These are all legit caveats. There are bigger fish that will need frying as the season progresses.
However, there is now no doubt that Allen is a “franchise” level quarterback and will be for a long time. That was priority A-1 for this season and Allen checked off the box in week two. It’s something Bills fans who have been wandering aimlessly in “quarterback purgatory” should vehemently appreciate.
The only thing left to do is play these games against the teams that really matter. The ones Buffalo will face in January.
That’s the next level.