Snider: This Allen is Here To Stay
Kyle Allen is going nowhere. Not after the Washington Football Team broke a five-game losing streak with the passer producing a solid effort.
Put away your quarterback controversy. That’s not happening. Dwayne Haskins is now glued to the bench as the third-stringer unless Washington finds a trade partner desperate for a midseason passer. While Dallas might be one team looking for a quarterback, there should be no temptation on Washington’s part to deal him there.
Allen secured his role for the rest of the season by playing solidly in the 25-3 victory over Dallas on Sunday. The biggest thing was no turnovers, unlike the previous week when two interceptions led to 14 New York Giants points in a 20-19 loss. This time, Allen tried only one scary play when throwing the ball into the end zone while on the run when the ball should have gone past the end zone. No matter, Allen escaped that gaffe.
Allen completed 15 of 25 for 194 yards, two touchdowns and a 111.1 pass rating. Oh, coach Ron Rivera will take that any Sunday. Washington won because the defensive line and running backs played great, but at least Allen did his part while not undermining the game’s momentum.
Washington now has its bye on Nov. 1 before a rematch against the Giants on Nov. 8. They’re also facing winnable games versus Detroit and Cincinnati before spending Thanksgiving in Dallas. All they ask of Allen is to throw a big pass now and then and no turnovers. That’s it. Some call it game management, but that’s not a curse word.
Allen does some things well, especially as a young quarterback himself. His mobility buys time. Unfortunately, his peripheral vision seems awful as he sometimes runs into outside rushers. But Allen is getting better at not forcing mistakes. He looked more downfield when throwing touchdowns to Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas. Considering Washington barely has a No. 2 receiver aside Cam Sims occasionally, Allen does well with limited options.
All of this has ingratiated the passer to Rivera, who traded a fifth-rounder over the offseason to regain his former Carolina quarterback that went 5-7 last year. Maybe Rivera looks for starting options in 2021 like signing his former Carolina quarterback Cam Newton or drafting a passer. However, the coach obviously doesn’t want Haskins so he needed a decent effort by Allen against Dallas to justify not playing Haskins if the team was 1-6. Instead, Washington remains a half-game out of first despite a 2-5 mark and Allen remains the firm starter.
Allen is to Rivera what Colt McCoy was to Jay Gruden in recent years. McCoy just couldn’t stay healthy. Rivera finally has the passer he really wanted after letting Haskins play his way out of a job after four games. Rivera needed to give the 2019 first-rounder a chance and the latter didn’t impress the coach enough.
Lip service says it’s a week to week thing, but it’s not. Go ahead and buy your Allen jersey without fear of not needing it after this season. He’s going nowhere.
Rick Snider is an award-winning sports writer who has covered Washington sports since 1978. He first wrote about the Washington football team in 1983 before becoming a beat writer in 1993. Snider currently writes for several national and international publications and is a Washington tour guide. Follow Rick on Twitter at @Snide_Remarks