Publish date:

Will Bills' Josh Allen Find 2020 Comfort Zone?

They have $150 million in guaranteed money riding on him being able to overcome whatever other issues they have.

The Buffalo Bills can look at the shortcomings on their offensive line, the punt that was blocked for a touchdown, the malfunctions in the red zone and even the inability of a defense that was otherwise excellent to get any takeaways in last Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But what everything comes down to this season and so many more to come is whether quarterback Josh Allen can play at the level he ascended to in 2020, which he failed to do against the Steelers even when the protection was there and his receivers were open.

Was last Sunday a hiccup or an omen for the player who was 30-for-51 for 270 yards, a touchdown, three sacks and two fumbles?

The Bills already have gambled $150 million in guaranteed money that it's the former, signing him to a monster contract extension this summer.

Coach Sean McDermott said firmly: "Josh will be ready to go, he'll be ready to go this Sunday."

Allen admitted to jitters while playing in front of a home crowd for the first time since 2019. He wouldn't admit his play suffered because of the offensive line, particularly the left side of tackle Dion Dawkins and guard Jon Feliciano.

"They're guys that absolutely care about this team, they care about their job," Allen said. "They're going to do everything in their power to be the best versions of themselves. By no means has anybody lost any confidence in them. ...  We're looking forward to having really good years from both those guys and really from all five guys up front, whoever may be playing. So there's no loss of confidence at all.

"We've got to go out there and there's things I can do better, there's things they know they can do better. There's things, like everybody, you know, from Coach [Brian] Daboll to Coach McDermott, you know, everybody in this organization. And we're extremely accountable, but we care about each other and we don't want to let each other down."

As far as Allen and the rest of the team is concerned, the Bills have long since turned the page.

"We're past it," he claimed. "You know, we've got a 24-hour rule here, and win or lose we've got to turn our attention towards the next week, so that's what we're doing. Like I said, we learned a lot of things from the tape this last week and, you know, we're looking forward to applying them on the game field Sunday."

The Dolphins are expecting a different version of Allen too.

"He’s a very talented player," coach Brian Flores said. "He’s improved incredibly over the course of his career. He’s got a lot of confidence. He has total command of the offense. He has autonomy to make changes at the line of scrimmage. He can throw it, he can run it. They have good backs, they have good receivers, they’ve got good skill all over the field. They’ve got a good team."

Added defensive coordinator Josh Boyer: "I think Josh Allen is a very good quarterback in this league. I think their offensive staff has done a great job with him. You can see his progression over the years and I would say Josh Allen plays the quarterback position as good as anybody. He does a really good job for them. He can read defenses. He makes good decisions. He’s got a strong arm. He can make all of the throws."

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.