Buffalo Bills QB can do more incredible things more often than even Patrick Mahomes
It’s not true that Josh Allen injured the mid-arm joint of his throwing arm by elbowing aside other top 2022 NFL MVP candidates.
In fact, as NFL fans know, it was on a stunted follow-through late in last Sunday’s loss at the New York Jets. He did not practise Wednesday or Thursday this week, and on Friday Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott said “we’re going to literally take it one hour at a time” regarding when Allen can play again.
But to complete the above fictional figurative allusion, the Bills quarterback up to last Sunday had indeed elbowed his way to the front of the MVP pack, it says here. That is, presuming his elbow injury is not serious and he can return soon.
Many are making the MVP case for Patrick Mahomes, the superstar Kansas City Chiefs quarterback of the past five seasons. He should be seen as the No. 2 candidate. Because he came up considerably short in his head-to-head showdown against Allen and the Bills last month. In that game — probably the biggest game of the NFL season to this point — Allen shone brighter.
Each threw for about 330 yards, and ran for about 25.
But Allen threw three TD passes, to Mahomes’ two.
And Allen wasn’t picked off, while Mahomes was twice, including near the game’s end to kill the Chiefs’ last chance to win, and therefore sealed Kansas City’s 24-20 home-field defeat.
In that Oct. 16 game, Allen showed again — as he did in that epic AFC divisional playoff game in Kansas City last January — that he is consistently the more dangerous, creative, physically punishing runner, and consistently more able to see and complete deep passes.
Sure, Mahomes is an on-field magician whose penchant for hard-to-believe athleticism probably always will be unrivaled. But since that incredible, game-ending one-upmanship between him and Allen last January, it has been Allen whose overall dual-threat abilities have been a tick more impressive.
Has Allen in the past two games thrown a few dumb passes that got picked off, or nearly picked off? Yes. That might be because all-pro Stefon Diggs is his only WR reliably getting open at this point in the season.
Besides, Mahomes throws such daring, dumb passes a few times every game, it seems, and indeed he was most lucky he didn’t have a handful of picks by September’s end.
This will be a fun debate, it appears, for years to come in the NFL. Many people’s opinions probably will bounce back and forth, much as they did with Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady.
Don’t dispute it. Enjoy it.
Here are three other top MVP candidates, and other leaders for season-ending honours:
REMAINING MVP CANDIDATES
• Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles. His numbers don’t jump out at you. Well, other than the fact he has been sacked 11 times over the past three weeks. Which is not good. But he has seem to have found the narrow but optimal zone between consistently making big plays and not risking a turnover. His only two interceptions came before Canadian Thanksgiving. His team is 8-0 largely because of him. Bust-out year.
• Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins. He’s undefeated, too, at least in games he has been able to finish. He has the NFL’s top passer rating overall, on third downs, and in fourth quarters. Bust-out year, too.
• Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks. After flaming out as Jets QB, he barely played there, with the Giants, with the Chargers and with the Seahawks from 2015 until Russell Wilson missed a few games last season. Now, Smith is a legit MVP candidate, completing an NFL-best 73.1% for 244 yards per game, 15 TDs and only four picks.
• Micah Parsons, DE, Cowboys. Watch any game when he’s healthy, and he’s the most impactful player on the field.
• Matthew Judon, DE, Patriots. League leader in sacks, already with 11.5. Could break the NFL season record.
• Za’Darius Smith, OLB, Vikings. Second in sacks (8.5), first in tackles-for-loss (13.5). Always impactful.
• Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers. Missed a game but still has eight sacks and eight tackles-for-loss.
• J. Gardner-Johnson, S, Eagles. League-leading five interceptions. Not bad for a camp-ending Saints trade cast-off.
OUTSTANDING ROOKIE, OFFENCE
• Chris Olave, WR, Saints. Leads all rookies with 43 catches. His 618 yards rank ninth overall. His 18 third-down catches lead the league.
• Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seahawks. Didn’t burst onto the scene until October, but wow, what a back. Amassed 432 rush yards just in October, and rushed for four TDs.
• Dameon Pierce, RB, Texans. His 776 scrimmage yards top all rookies. Breaks more tackles than anybody, too.
• Breece Hall, RB, Jets. Has 463 rush yards with a 5.8 per-carry average, and five touchdowns.
• Garrett Wilson, WR, Jets. His 42 catches, 521 yards and two TDs nearly equal ex-Ohio State teammate Olave’s stats.
OUTSTANDING ROOKIE, DEFENCE
• Sauce Gardner, CB, Jets. Leads all NFL defenders with 13 pass breakups. Has two picks and three tackles-for-loss as well. Looks like a confident superstar out there already.
• Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Lions. One of only three defenders ranked among the Top 34 in sacks (with 4.5) who has had an interception too. Leading rookie sacker thus far.
• Tariq Woolen, CB, Seahawks. NFL’s defensive rookie of the month for October. In that month alone he intercepted three passes, broke up five passes and recovered two fumbles.
• Devin Lloyd, LB, Jaguars. He was the NFL’s defensive rookie of the month for September, nabbing two interceptions and six passes defenced.
• Jack Jones, CB, Patriots. Has two interceptions, one of which was a pick-six of Aaron Rodgers, in his only start. Had a forced fumble and fumble recovery in that game too.
• Nick Sirianni, Eagles. Deservedly undefeated at 8-0.
• Robert Saleh, Jets. Easily the most improved AFC team.
• Kevin O’Connell, Vikings. One loss? Hey, take a bow.
• Brian Daboll, Giants. Lotta luck, yes, but better coaching.
• John Harbaugh, Ravens. From last to first in AFC North.
No need to list anyone other than the slam-dunk winner — Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith. He’s playing at an elite level each and every week. And this poor guy mostly watched from the sideline the last two seasons as Russell Wilson got sacked three times a game playing hero ball.
John Kryk writes a weekly newsletter on NFL matters. That’s where you can first see his straight-up picks each week. You can have the newsletter automatically dropped into your email inbox on Wednesdays simply by signing up — for free — at https://torontosun.com/newsletters/