The Buffalo Bills opted to give rookie Josh Allen some time to grow by serving in a backup role to start the season, but they have already found it impossible to stick to their plan.
After they were embarrassed for more than 30 minutes of football in their season-opening game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the Bills decided to bench starting quarterback Nathan Peterman in favor of Allen.
Peterman left with the Bills trailing 40-0. He completed 5-of-18 passes for 24 yards and two touchdowns. He also took three sacks.
As some of you may recall, Peterman had one of the worst games in NFL history last season when he took over for Tyrod Taylor. Barring an injury to Allen, it’s possible we may not see him again in 2018.
Josh Allen was given a great opportunity to run away with the Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback job in the team’s third preseason game on Sunday, but he had an incredibly rough afternoon. As a result, he is far from a guarantee to be under center in Week 1.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Monday that the Bills had made it clear Allen, Nathan Peterman and A.J. McCarron were all still in the mix for the starting job before they gave Allen the nod in the all-important third preseason game. After Allen completed just 6-of-12 passes for 34 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals, the competition sounds as open as ever.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2018
“It was made pretty specifically clear to me that Nathan Peterman is still very much in it — so, by the way, is A.J. McCarron,” Rapoport said. “If they do need to turn to Nathan Peterman, they are absolutely fine doing it. In practice, he’s been really good. He’s kind of emerging into a little bit of a leader here.”
Allen didn’t get much help on Sunday, as he was running for his life almost the entire time he was in and was sacked five times. He was checked for a concussion after his helmet bounced off the turf on one play, but he was eventually cleared.
With Buffalo’s offensive line looking like a huge concern, it might make more sense to not risk hurting Allen’s confidence early in the season. While we have seen indicators that Allen could earn the Week 1 job, the last thing the Bills want to do is put their first-round pick in a position to fail.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen took a beating in Sunday’s preseason game and left due to a possible concussion.
Just before halftime of Buffalo’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Allen hit his head hard on the turf while taking a hit and was removed from the game for a concussion check.
Josh Allen's head bounces hard off the turf.
— Dan Fetes (@danfetes) August 26, 2018
Josh Allen is being removed from the game for an apparent concussion check. Nathan Peterman in.
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) August 26, 2018
Allen struggled mightily on Sunday as his protection repeatedly broke down. He went just 6-of-12 for 34 yards and was sacked five times by the Cincinnati defense. The Bengals actually racked up more sack yards (39) than Allen had passing yards.
Allen had looked like the potential starter after A.J. McCarron went down with an injury. We’ll see if Sunday’s events change anything.
- Josh Allen
The Buffalo Bills have been holding an open competition at the quarterback position this offseason, but it seems clear that rookie Josh Allen has the best chance at being named the team’s starter.
On Wednesday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott told reporters Allen is getting first-team reps all week in advance of Sunday’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. As Ian Rapoport of NFL Media pointed out, that obviously means Allen has an opportunity to seize the job.
Allen has any even better chance of winning the Week 1 job now that veteran A.J. McCarron suffered a shoulder injury, though McCarron is not dealing with a fractured collarbone as initially feared. McDermott said Wednesday that he will return to practice on a “limited” basis, so McCarron could still be available for Week 1.
#Bills coach Sean McDermott describes QB AJ McCarron as being “limited” in practice, which means he will, in fact, practice. McCarron has some soreness so they’ll see how he does.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 22, 2018
The third preseason game is typically the most important, as that is when the projected starters for the regular season receive significant playing time. Even with McCarron avoiding a major injury, Allen clearly has the upper-hand at this point in the battle.
There is a lot of news surrounding the Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback position.
A.J. McCarron, Josh Allen and Nathan Peterman are all competing to be the Bills’ starter. McCarron was believed to have suffered a hairline fracture in his collarbone during the team’s second preseason game, but it looks like he does not have a fracture. Still, he is not at 100 percent, which probably gives the temporary edge to Allen and Peterman. And it seems like Allen has in the inside track for the job.
The Bills announced on Monday that Allen will start the team’s third preseason game.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 20, 2018
The third preseason game is often compared to a dress rehearsal and is usually the last time a team’s key starters will appear in a preseason game. If Allen is starting, he’s probably the favorite to get the starting job.
Allen was the No. 7 overall pick by the Bills in the draft. He is 18-of-32 for 176 yards and two touchdowns this preseason.
- Josh Allen
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey criticized a number of NFL quarterbacks in an interview with GQ that was released this week, and Buffalo Bills rookie Josh Allen may have gotten the worst of it. While Allen is clearly aware of the remarks, he insists he is not bothered by them.
On Wednesday, reporters asked Allen how he feels about Ramsey calling him “trash.”
Bills QB Josh Allen‘s response to the comments by Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (he had not seen or heard them until asked): “He’s not on my team, he’s not my teammate. It doesn’t bother me.”
— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) August 15, 2018
Allen on outside criticisms: “It doesn’t bother me. I don’t care one bit. I care about my teammates, what my teammates think about me.”
— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) August 15, 2018
Ramsey may have had the harshest description for Allen, as he also said the former Wyoming star was a “stupid draft pick” from the Bills. That said, Ramsey bashed several other QBs as well.
Allen didn’t face the competition some other prospects had to face in college, which is one of the reasons there was very little consensus on where he ranked among QBs in the 2018 class. The Bills are taking it slow with him, but Ramsey clearly feels they shouldn’t bother.
Jalen Ramsey knows no limits when it comes to speaking his mind, and the star cornerback proved this week that he is willing to share his opinion — no matter how insulting — on just about any player in the NFL.
In a highly entertaining interview with Clay Skipper of GQ Magazine, Ramsey unloaded on Josh Allen, Joe Flacco and several other quarterbacks. Basically, the Jacksonville Jaguars star feels there are a handful of good QBs in the league and the rest range from average to “trash.” Let’s begin with Ramsey’s thoughts on Buffalo Bills rookie Josh Allen.
“I think Allen is trash. I don’t care what nobody say. He’s trash,” Ramsey said. “And it’s gonna show too. That’s a stupid draft pick to me. We play them this year, and I’m excited as hell. I hope he’s their starting quarterback. He played at Wyoming. Every time they played a big school—like, they played Iowa State, which is not a big school in my opinion because I went to Florida State, and he threw five interceptions, and they lost by a couple touchdowns or something like that.✞ He never beat a big school. If you look at his games against big schools, it was always hella interceptions, hella turnovers. It’s like: Yo, if you’re this good, why couldn’t you do better? He fits that mold, he’s a big, tall quarterback. Big arm, supposedly. I don’t see it, personally.”
Ramsey had good things to say about Lamar Jackson, who he feels should have been picked much higher than No. 32 overall in the draft. And judging by his opinion of Joe Flacco, Ramsey believes Jackson will be the starting quarterback in Baltimore sooner rather than later.
“I would’ve picked [Lamar Jackson] earlier than 32. I think he’s gonna do a good job,” Ramsey said. “Especially with the [Baltimore Ravens’] offensive coordinator — he likes running quarterbacks, likes that read option. And just being honest about it, [Joe] Flacco sucks. I played him two years in a row. He sucks.”
Among the QBs who don’t “suck,” in Ramsey’s opinion, are Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota, Tyrod Taylor, Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr. He believes DeShaun Watson and Carson Wentz will be MVP candidates for years to come, but he’s still unsure about Jimmy Garoppolo. Ramsey said he has seen enough to believe Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan are nothing special.
“Big Ben, I think he’s decent at best … It’s not Big Ben, it’s [Antonio Brown]. Big Ben slings the ball a lot of the time. He just slings it, and his receivers go get it,” he said. “He has a strong arm, but he ain’t all that. I played him twice last year, and he really disappointed me. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame and all that.
Before discussing Ryan, Ramsey began with, “What’s the Atlanta quarterback’s name?”
“I think Matt Ryan’s overrated. You can’t tell me you win MVP two years ago, and then last year, you a complete bust, and you still got Julio Jones? There’s no way that should ever happen. I don’t care. You know what that tells me? That tells me [Offensive Coordinator Kyle] Shanahan left, went to San Francisco, got Garoppolo, made Garoppolo this big thing. And now Garoppolo is a big name—and now [Matt Ryan] has this bad year? Alright, well, was it really you, or was it your coach? He was doing what was asked of him and it was making him look really, really good.”
The entire interview is worth a read, and players who thrive on bulletin board material are going to find it very useful. While Ramsey’s comments about Allen were the most harsh, we shouldn’t be surprised given the way he trolled Allen and the Bills earlier this offseason. In terms of trash talk, Ramsey makes Richard Sherman look bashful.