Patriots

Bill Belichick praises QB Josh Allen before Patriots-Bills primetime matchup

"His improvement has just been tremendous from where it was three years ago."

Josh Allen Bills Patriots
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
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Josh Allen came into the NFL in 2018 a project at the quarterback position: a passer with a combination of great size, athleticism and unbelievable arm strength that simply couldn’t hit the target consistently.

Though the roller-coaster ride hasn’t completely stopped for the young quarterback, it certainly seems as if he’s arrived as one of the league’s top young signal-callers.

Allen certainly has Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s utmost attention this week as the quarterback’s Buffalo Bills prepare to face the legendary coach’s New England Patriots on Monday Night Football in Week 13.

“His improvement has just been tremendous from where it was three years ago,” Belichick said on Wednesday. “Completion percentage, passer rating, decision making, production, it’s just gone…it’s risen at a really remarkable rate.”

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The rocket-armed Allen showed flashes of his talent in his first two seasons but still struggled with accuracy, completing just 52.8 percent of his throws as a rookie in 2018 and 58.8 percent in 2019.

Then, things clicked big-time for the University of Wyoming product in 2020. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft completed a stellar 69.2 percent of his passes for a monstrous 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions, leading the Bills to the AFC East title and to the AFC Championship game.

He has currently thrown for 3,072 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 picks in 2021 and is coming off of a four-touchdown game against the New York Jets.

“It’s just remarkable how good he has become,” Belichick added. “Last year, this year’s built on that. What it was when he came into the league. But he’s just made tremendous improvement. Has a lot of command of the offense. They audible a lot. They change things. They obviously have a lot of confidence in him. He handles it well at the line. Rarely run a bad play or where they run into a bad look or a blitz or something like that. He doesn’t get fooled much by anything. It’s really impressive to watch how he’s developed there.”

That’s notable praise from the Patriots’ coach given that Belichick reportedly “didn’t buy into the Josh Allen craze” and “got fired up” at the hype Allen got as an MVP candidate last year, according to ESPN NFL analysts Brian Griese and Louis Riddick.

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Yet, despite the Patriots’ best efforts, Allen led the Bills to their first season sweep of New England in the Bill Belichick era — something Belichick and his squad will no doubt be looking to avenge starting on Monday.

Unlike last year, the Patriots have a talented young quarterback, Mac Jones, performing at a high level as well, setting up a quarterback battle that could be a must-watch for years to come.

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