What would an MVP season from Bills QB Josh Allen look like?

07/01/2022
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The NFL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting has become a de facto ‘most outstanding quarterback on a good team’ ballot.

The last nine players to win the MVP have all been passers from playoff teams. That bodes well for Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s chances at adding the prestigious award to his mantle. Allen is coming off of back-to-back seasons where he put up over 5,000 total yards and 40 total touchdowns while leading Buffalo to AFC East crowns.

Las Vegas has taken notice. The former seventh overall selection is the odds-on favorite at several sports books, sitting at +600 to take home the MVP hardware. The Bills are Super Bowl favorites with a line of +650. So, if JA17 were to capture the league’s highest individual honor, what could his 2022 MVP season look like? I’m glad you asked! Let’s start by looking at the stats from the last five MVPs, as we said before, all quarterbacks.

The previous five MVPs (Aaron Rodgers X2, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and Tom Brady) collected an average of 4,243 passing yards, 40.6 passing touchdowns with seven interceptions on 67.6% passing. They also ran for 401.2 yards and three more touchdowns. To put that into perspective, in Josh Allen’s 2020 season, where he finished second in the MVP voting, he had 4,544 yards through the air with 37 TDs and ten picks while completing 69.2% of his passes. Allen also rushed for 421 yards and found the endzone eight times. If you’d like to see these numbers as a stat line, they look like this:

Previous 5 MVPs: 67.6%, 4,243yds passing, 46.6TDs, 7INTs, 401.2yds rushing, 3TDs rushing
2020 Josh Allen: 69.2% 4,544yds passing, 37TDs, 10INTs, 421yds rushing, 8TDs rushing

If you want to go full SCORCHED EARTH on what Allen is capable of here are his last two high-leverage games (2021 playoffs) extrapolated over a 17-game season: 77.4%, 5,414yds passing, 76.5TDs, 0INTs, 1,139yds rushing. If the signal-caller somehow compiled these statistics – GAME OVER!

Let’s look at these seasons differently using Pro Football Focus (PFF) grades for the overall offenses and the passing attacks. The previous five MVPs guided an offense that scored an average of 87.3. As for the passing game alone, their average grade was 87.9. For context, JA17’s 2020 campaign earned an offensive grade of 87.3. The passing score was 89.5, so again good or better than the most recent MVPs. Allen and the Bills’ offense graded 92.1 in last year’s playoffs, while the passing game alone was 92.2. Once again, if he can somehow lead that high-potent assault for 17 games, it’s over!

So, now that we’ve sifted through all of this data let’s answer our original question “what could Josh Allen’s 2022 MVP season look like?”

Start with Allen becoming the 15th member of the 5,000-yard club by averaging 295 passing yards per game, or 5,015 passing yards for the season. He’ll also need to meet or eclipse the 40 passing touchdown mark, something he has approached the last two years with 36 and 37, respectively. For that, Allen must average 2.35 TDs through the air each game. Josh will also need to reign in the interceptions. Single-digit picks have been a hallmark of previous winners with seven of eight staying under ten. The place JA17 could separate himself from pocket passers is on the ground. The Bills still haven’t addressed the stereotypical third-down back position lending favor to Allen and his ground stats. It’s fair to expect he stays near his career average of 581.3 rushing yards a season with 7.75 additional touchdowns. In an MVP season, Allen would easily outdo his competition with those stats.

In conclusion, my final 2022 Josh Allen MVP season looks like this: 64.9%, 5,015yds passing, 40TDs, 9INTs, 581yds rushing, 8TDs rushing.

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