HOUSTON -- Considering that teams win and lose based primarily on quarterback play in today's NFL, the Buffalo Bills have been on a 20-year journey for a solution. Buffalo has been searching for its franchise guy since the departure of Jim Kelly in 1996.
That narrative changed when Josh Allen entered the building in 2018. Now in 2021, Buffalo is one of the league's top contenders each season in large put due to the success of Allen commanding the offense.
Houston Texans' head coach David Culley knows Allen's talents all too well. As the former Bills' quarterbacks coach, he experienced it first-hand.
“He’s become one of the top quarterbacks in this league," Culley said Monday of the fourth-year player. "I know when I had him as a rookie, he has everything that you want, and I’m not surprised that he’s where he’s at right now."
Culley worked as a Buffalo's quarterbacks during the 2018 season. Allen struggled with accuracy and turnovers, grading out as one of the league's worst in both categories as a rookie.
The following season, Culley was replaced with former Carolina Panthers' QB coach Ken Dorsey. Along with the new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Allen found more consistency passing, leading the Bills to a second playoff appearance since the hiring of general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott.
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“He has a great arm," Texans cornerback Tremon Smith said of Allen. "He can make pretty much any throw on the field. So, we have to be real sticky this week."
Last season was Allen's best since being selected No. 7 out of Wyoming. He posted a career-high 69.2 completion percentage, along with 4,544 passing yards and 37 touchdowns against only 10 interceptions.
He finished second in MVP voting and led Buffalo to an AFC Championship appearance against the Kansas City Chiefs. This offseason, the Bills agreed to terms with Allen on a six-year, $258 million extension, with $150 million guaranteed.
So far this season, Allen has led the Bills to a 2-1 start. He has gone 73 of 95 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns against one interception.
"He’s a heck of a player, has all the things you want," Culley said. "There’s not a throw he can’t make. He’s very athletic, he’s a big kid, strong kid that can run. He’s the total package.”