Bills fans had to wait an entire half to see rookie quarterback Josh Allen take his first NFL snap. But I’m sure if you asked them if it was worth the wait, their response would be a resounding YES! Allen entered the game, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll immediately showcased Allen’s arm strength as they took a shot deep to WR Robert Foster. It was about a 52-yard throw, but it was well out of bounds.
— Film Breakdowns (@TheNFLVault) August 12, 2018
While the other quarterbacks had efficient games in their own rights, Allen’s talent really showed why the Bills’ staff is going to have a hard time keeping him off the field. On this 2nd-and-10 call, the Bills align in a 3×1 set and have WR Ray-Ray McCloud run a deep over route. The Panthers play cover 3, and McCloud is able to sneak behind the linebacker level. Allen sees the window in the zone, anticipates the throw, and unleashes a heater with perfect placement to McCloud. McCloud is then able to catch and run with it.
Here’s a clean pocket cannon from Josh Allen pic.twitter.com/RjRD2z7Miq
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) August 10, 2018
The Panthers didn’t take it easy on the rook; they blitzed him on 43.5% of his dropbacks, including this 3rd-and-11 play on which Carolina executes a zone blitz. With no one open, Allen tucks the ball and attempts to get upfield, but there isn’t an exit. The left defensive end, Efe Eobada (#71), crashes inside as linebacker Chris Frey (#50) spins inside from the boundary, and they look to have Allen bottled up. But Allen spins out of the pocket and into the open field where he is able to scramble for the first down. Incredible athleticism and game speed by Allen.
— Film Breakdowns (@TheNFLVault) August 13, 2018
While Allen had his flash plays, I was far more impressed with how he handled himself on the Bills’ final drive. Allen’s command and playmaking ability willed the offense down the field.
The Bills took possession of the ball at their 25-yard line with 2:24 on the clock and no timeouts. Preseason or not, this type of situational football is priceless for all of the young players.
Allen led the young offensive squad down the field on a six-play, 1:14 scoring drive. So let’s break down how the drive transpired.