Josh Allen's run with the Buffalo Bills got off to a rough start but by the end of of the 2018 NFL season, Bills fans knew they had their quarterback of the future.
Allen's skills not only impressed members of the Bills Mafia, but left a great impression with NFL Network analysts Brian Baldinger. The analyst made some bold claims about Allen's athleticism in a recent edition of "Baldy's Breakdowns."
“I think he’s a better athlete than Cam [Newton], than [Mitchell] Trubisky, than Lamar [Jackson], than [Deshaun] Watson, than [Marcus] Mariota,” Baldinger said. “Give me a great athlete at quarterback, I’ll put Josh Allen up against any of those quarterbacks.” (transcription via BuffaloBills.com)
Allen entered the league after being drafted No. 7 overall in the 2018 NFL draft. The Bills traded up to grab their quarterback of the future but were slow to put Allen in a starting role. However, by Week 2 of the 2018 NFL season, Allen was the starting quarterback for the Bills. In Week 3, Allen led the Bills to their first victory of the season in a stunning showcase against the Minnesota Vikings. It was in this game NFL fans witnessed Allen's rushing abilities as he hurdled Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr on a scramble to pick up a first down.
He would miss a handful of games with an elbow injury but returned with a vengeance. In his first game back, Allen led the Bills to a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars with 160 yards passing and 1 touchdown while adding on 99 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown. The very next week, Allen again had an unworldly statline with 235 yards passing and 135 yards rushing. The Bills QB would shine again against fellow rookie Sam Darnold as Allen compiled 206 passing yards with another 101 rushing yards against the New York Jets defense. Allen became the first quarterback in NFL history to have at least 95 rushing yards over a three week span.
Allen closed out the season with an amazing performance as he scored five total touchdowns (3 passing, 2 rushing) with 224 passing yards along with 95 rushing yards. He earned AFC's Offensive Player of the Week, becoming the first Bills quarterback to earn the award since Drew Bledsoe. Allen also became the first QB in Bills history to lead the team in both passing and rushing yards in a single season.