The Duel

Bills Made Big Change to Josh Allen's Game

Max Staley
The Buffalo Bills made a big change to Josh Allen's game.
The Buffalo Bills made a big change to Josh Allen's game. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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Josh Allen has looked like a completely different player in 2020. He's more poised, confident and aggressive than we've ever seen him be. But the most important shift in Allen's game has been his accuracy downfield.

In fact, the leap he's made as a downfield passer is nothing short of remarkable.

Allen is completing 71 percent of his passes (15-of-21) on balls that travel 15-plus yards downfield this season. He's racked up a league-high 380 yards on such throws, tossing 3 touchdowns and no interceptions in the process.

To understand just how far he's come since 2019, remember that Allen was Pro Football Focus' lowest-graded QB on downfield throws last year (among qualified passers). He completed just 24.1 percent of his throws that traveled 20-plus air yards, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt with a putrid 64.4 passer rating. That wasn't a small sample size, as he threw deep at the sixth-highest rate in the NFL.

To be fair, two well-played games in 2020 is a small sample size. But there's a tangible change that might've resulted in Allen's leap: the addition of Stefon Diggs.

Diggs has an average depth of target (aDOT) of 11.0, and Allen has a stellar 123.1 passer rating when targeting the former Viking. Diggs' presence also means defenses can't key in on John Brown downfield, and he's been fantastic as well, posting a 13.8 aDOT and a 133.3 rating when targeted in coverage.

Surrounded by the best weapons he's ever had, it shouldn't be too shocking that Allen is playing the best football of his career. But not even the most optimistic of Bills' fans could've predicted him developing into an MVP candidate this quickly.

If Allen keeps this up, Buffalo is going to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and the Bills are available at +2200 to win it all come February.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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