Josh Allen started the 2020 NFL season on an MVP-caliber pace but came back to earth in Week 5.
Amid the Buffalo Bills‘ 4-0 start to the 2020 NFL season, third-year quarterback Josh Allen wasn’t just impressive — he was in the MVP conversation. The Wyoming product had thrown for 1,326 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception while completing 70.9 percent of his passes and rushing for three scores as well.
For a young quarterback who brought about many questions through his first two seasons, Allen looked like a completely different player. He was the talk of the league for the leap he’d made. But then came a Tuesday night trip to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans. And the MVP-caliber quarterback looked decidedly less so.
Allen hit career lows for the season across the board, completing only 63.4 percent of his throws for 263 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a decisive 42-16 loss. It wasn’t just the numbers either — the Bills quarterback’s decision-making and calm demeanor under pressure that had been so impressive early on fell by the wayside.
Ardent detractors from Allen were sure to point this out as the quarterback showing his true colors. And that may be true to some degree: Josh Allen is not an MVP candidate, or so it seems after Week 5. But that doesn’t tell the whole story, one that’s still glowingly positive for the Bills and their fans.
The Bills can still thrive if Josh Allen isn’t going to win MVP this season.
I’ve not been shy regarding my doubts about Josh Allen early in his career. But what he’s shown early in the 2020 season has been worthy of admitting that I was wrong. You could say that it’s only a four-game sample size. However, his poor showings this year can be whittled down to only a one-game sample.
Even the best quarterbacks in the league have subpar games. And it’s not as if Allen was an unmitigated disaster. In a game in which his defense didn’t play well and where the running game was nonexistent, he didn’t play at the same level he had been through four contests. That simply magnifies a mediocre game. And in a heated MVP race, that puts him behind the 8-ball.
That shouldn’t leave Bills fans distraught or overly angry, though. Allen doesn’t need to win NFL MVP for Buffalo to win the AFC East or even potentially compete for a Super Bowl. He needs to be a player who is continually progressing and improving. And he’s shown that in undeniable fashion. The consistency will only further come as he garners more experience.
At the end of the day, Allen is only 24 years old. That he was even in the MVP conversation with Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers through four weeks is a testament to his development and potential. So even if Week 5’s performance takes him out of the race — for now, it should be said — Bills fans shouldn’t lament that for too long.