(photo credit: Getty Images/Hannah Foslien)
Could Josh Allen show incremental improvement in dealing with the blitz in week 3 after looking rough in weeks 1 and 2? Would he be able to not only avoid the sack.. but make the Viking’s D back off by burning them for taking risks?
To determine his success rate we broke down 7 plays in the first half where Minnesota sent 1, 2 or 3 extra defenders to rattle the rookie QB. Each play is graded as one of the following:
- LOSS – Minnesota’s pressure results in a sack or non threatening attempt by the QB
- WIN – Buffalo QB acts decisively and his actions result in positive yards or an attempt that would make the D think twice about sending same pressure next time
- DRAW – Buffalo QB acts decisively against the blitz but doesn’t execute
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In last week’s breakdown Bills/LA Wk 2: All-22 OLine/Qb Unforced Error Analysis we analyzed Josh Allen and the O Line’s peformance against the Chargers. In that game Allen had several unforced errors atrributed to either not correctly identifying a blitz that was coming or not being decisive in trying to make LA pay for sending extra men. Decisiveness can manifest itself in several ways… getting the ball out quickly, running into the void when appropriate. In short.. he was generally passive against the extra pressue dialed up and never made the Chargers think twice about taking the risk of blitzing.
So.. lets see if he learned anything from the previous week by watching 7 plays from the 1st half against the Vikes .and then tally up the scorecard.
BREAKDOWN WITH CLIPS
q1: 14:18 – Vikings send 6 on blitz. The Min defender in the 2 gap blocks down on Bodine to create lane for the stunting DE initially lined up over Ducasse. Murphy does nice job picking up the stunting DE but Bodine stays on his double team too long and Allen is sacked. Allen really had no chance on this play to get rid of it.
RESULT = LOSS – OLine to blame for Sack
Q1 7:31 – Min sends 7 on a jailbreak blitz. Allen takes quick drop.. plants and throws a decisive strike to KB on a slant getting the ball out quickly and not being affected by pressure.
RESULT : WIN – Vikes should’ve been burned with a TD here ( unfortunately KB drops it)
Q1 2:05 – Vikes send 5, Allen makes good decision to scramble for 10 yards to burn the blitz (and does his Air Jordan impression.. not such a good decision but pretty freaking cool to watch). The key here is that as soon as he hits his drop he is decisive. When done at the appropriate time running can be a good blitz breaker.
RESULT: WIN – Turning a blitz into a first down
Q2 3:05 – Min sends 5, notice the delayed A Gap blitz by # 55. Allen stands tall with free blitzer bearing down on him and throws tight window crossing route to Holmes.
RESULT: WIN – As we can see the O line does a good job of picking up pass rushers.. its on Allen here to beat the free man #55 and he does that by making a decisive throw (rather than bailing out or taking a sack… he makes a ballsy throw.. good to see)
Q2 8:19 – MIN sends 6, Allen hits 3 step drop and gets rid of ball quickly blind back shoulder pass to KB.
RESULT: WIN – Allen gets the ball out on schedule to beat the blitz before receiver turns around trusting KB to come back and get it (which he does)
Q2 7:44 – Min sends 5, Allen climbs the pocket to avoid the rush (good) .. however he overthrows KB who is one on one (not good).
RESULT: DRAW –
Q2 7:34 Below is an example of Allen sensing the blitz, hanging tough, getting the ball out quickly and throwing it up for grabs so his WR can have a chance to make a play. The Vikes are sending 5 here. John Miller is beaten badly and #17 has a man coming right in his face. Allen is not waiting for his receiver to get open.. he knows he has one on one coverage and his receiver Holmes has a better shot of coming down with it than the CB does. This is OUTSTANDING. Very few Bills QBs have had the confidence, stature or smarts to attempt these type of throws. Not only did Allen avoid the sack.. but he got the ball out quickly gave his WR a chance to make a 20 yard gain.
RESULT : WIN – Vikes were inches away from giving up 20 yd pass
LOSS – 1
WIN – 5
DRAW – 1
- To summarize Josh Allen effectively attacked the blitz 5 out of 7 times in the first half. The one loss was more on the O Line than on #17. The one draw that was an overthrow was a mix of good behavior/bad technique.
Folks… if Josh Allen can effectively attack blitzes sent his way over 70% of the time going forward it’s going to be a hell of a ride. Back shoulder throws.. tight window throws.. not bailing from the pocket in the face of a blitz… all good stuff. Bills fans have not seen this kind of aggressive confident play in years. Orton and Fitzy had their moments but neither had the athleticism that Josh Allen has.
There’s a lot of football left.. and maybe this was a fluke.. but if Josh Allen can develop and consistently demonstrate winning habits to beat NFL blitzes like he did against the Vikes last week the Bills may finally have a “real” qb.