Even with his recent struggles, Josh Allen is still one of the most improved quarterbacks in the NFL. Allen has improved his completion percentage by nearly 10% and is four touchdowns away from matching his total of 20 from last season -- and the Buffalo Bills have only played seven games.
There's no debate Allen has dramatically improved, playing a large role in why the Bills are in command of the AFC East as the season reaches its halfway point. Buffalo can take a commanding lead in the division race with a win over the New England Patriots -- losers of three consecutive games -- on Sunday. New England swept Buffalo last season as Allen threw just two touchdowns to three interceptions in both matchups.
Bill Belichick is fully aware how much better Allen got over the course of the offseason, but the improvements Allen made go far beyond the statistics.
"I think that Josh [Allen] does a good job of going to some of the secondary outlet receivers based on the coverage, where that takes him and if it's open he'll throw it for sure, and if it isn't then he's, I would say, not as quick to pull the ball down to run," Belichick said. "He finds secondary receivers and outlets and check downs and that kind of thing.
"Now, he's still a dangerous runner – I'm not saying that. He can run and he does run, but I think he's become more patient and just does a better job of dealing with outlet receivers in the coverage or secondary receivers in the pattern than he did. As he gained experience, I think that's to be expected of any good quarterback like that. So, he can certainly make all the throws. He's got a great arm and he can run, he's athletic, he's hard to tackle. But, I'd say his overall execution in the passing game has improved each of the last three years."
For the Patriots to beat the Bills, they are going to have to slow down Allen in order to stay alive in the AFC East race. Allen has struggled over the past three games, completing 63.1% of his passes to four touchdowns and three interceptions. The Bills still control their own destiny in the AFC East, as Allen has been carrying a team that ranks in the middle of the back in both offense and defense.
If the Bills are going to take the AFC East throne away from the Patriots, they are going to have to relay on Allen to get them there.