Comparing Bills QB Josh Allen's stats to Trevor Lawrence's just because it's fun

We're comparing Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen's statistics to Trevor Lawrence's after the passer's mega-extension.
Oct 8, 2023; London United Kingdom, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) reacts after scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2023; London United Kingdom, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) reacts after scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is not a meritocracy.

The most qualified or fitting candidates often aren’t hired for open positions, just as the most talented and productive players often aren’t the highest paid at their respective positions. The market, like any other, is subject to bubbles and crashes and sees constant resets.

The Jacksonville Jaguars launched their quarterback to the top of the passer pay hierarchy on Thursday evening, giving signal-caller Trevor Lawrence a five-year, $275 million contract that includes a reported $200 million in guarantees. The deal will see the 24-year-old earn an annual average salary of $55 million, his ascension pushing Buffalo Bills franchise player Josh Allen and his lowly $43 million annual salary out of the top 10 entirely.

Anyone familiar with how NFL contracts work understands why Lawrence now earns considerably more than Allen; the Buffalo signal-caller signed his contract in the summer of 2021, his deal then making him the second-highest-paid passer in football. The market has since been reset several times; as a 24-year-old ascending player, Lawrence was naturally in line for a big payday, and that’s exactly what’s happened.

The market is soon due for correction; one can’t imagine Allen being the league’s 11th highest-paid quarterback—or Patrick Mahomes barely cracking the top 10 at his position—for long. That said, it’s still fun to point out the absurdity of the now… and compare Allen’s stats to those of the highest-annual salary-earning quarterback in the league.

Looking at their respective statistics, there’s really no comparison. Allen has the upper hand in every significant stat, roughly doubling his career passing yards while having higher average yards per game and yards per attempt numbers. There’s no comparison between their rushing stats.

The only statistic where Lawrence has the slight edge is in career completion percentage (62.8 vs. 62.3); he’s also thrown considerably fewer interceptions (39 to 78), but that’s to be expected given the sample size.

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And speaking of sample size, that’s what ultimately makes this comparison futile—entering the league in 2018, Allen has played roughly twice as many games as Lawrence.

Comparing their stats over their first three seasons is a bit more honest, but we’ll still give the edge to Allen. Lawrence has the edge over the Buffalo signal-caller in passing yards, but Allen threw for more touchdowns and fewer interceptions and still significantly overshadows Lawrence on the ground (it should also be noted that national pundits suggested that Allen was bad throughout two-thirds of this stretch).

Where Lawrence does have the (surprising) objective edge over Allen is in head-to-head matchups; the Jaguars are 2-0 against the Bills since Lawrence entered the league, though both of their wins can perhaps be more so attributed to Buffalo’s temporary incompetence as opposed to Lawrence’s dominance.

This is ultimately just a fun comparison between one of the best quarterbacks in the league and the highest-paid quarterback in the league; few truly believe that the two players are currently in the same tier, though Lawrence may soon work his way into the upper echelon of signal-callers. The market will likely soon be reset, and these statistics will, again, be of no use; that said, they paint a humorous momentary picture of the quarterback market.


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Kyle Silagyi

KYLE SILAGYI