Is Josh Allen an MVP sleeper?

By: Jordan Kendall, Columnist 

If someone had told me pre-season that two weeks into this season Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen would be second in the league in passing, I would have been surprised. He faced some skepticism heading into the season from fans and reporters wondering if he’s truly a franchise quarterback. So far, the answer is yes. It’s very early in the season, but if he keeps this up he will likely be in the MVP conversation.

Two down, 14 to go

Through the first two games he’s played very well. He’s completing 70.4% of his passes for 727 yards. He’s also in the top three of passing touchdowns with six and a passer rating of 122.8. Like I said earlier it’s very early in the season, but I also think it’s hard to ignore how well he’s played so far. It’s a big if at this point, but if he keeps this up and is top three in multiple passing categories and the Bills are in the playoffs I think he’s got a chance of being MVP. So far it appears that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is in the lead, but if Buffalo wins the AFC East and dethrones the New England Patriots it could be hard to argue against Allen.

One of the most significant trades of the offseason sent wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings to the Bills. I grew up a Terps fan and he was one of the first players that I followed in college. I always thought he had what it takes to star in the NFL, and so far in his career he’s doing it. Diggs is coming off back to back 1,000 yard seasons and has started 2020 about as well as he could have. He has 16 receptions for 239 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly, seems to have the trust of Allen. Against the Miami Dolphins, he caught eight passes for 153 yards and a touchdown in a Buffalo win. For the most part, the MVP in the last ten years has not only been a quarterback, but also had one of the best receivers in football. I expect Diggs to go well over 1,000 yards again, and if he does it only strengthens Allen’s case for MVP.

Lack of competition so far

If there’s one negative against so far it’s who he’s played. The New York Jets and the Dolphins are both currently 0-2 and are considered to be some of the worst teams in the league. While Allen has played well, it’s fair to say he hasn’t faced any real competition yet. That is quickly going to change. In Buffalo’s next eight games they face six teams currently 2-0. More importantly they face some of the top teams in the league such as the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks. The Bills will play those three teams in a span of four games with only the Jets in between them. If they can get out of that stretch with a winning record and Allen plays well, those are the types of games where you build an MVP resume.

Even if Allen isn’t MVP after the season, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to prove he’s at least a franchise quarterback. Buffalo’s schedule could be difficult with a few games against teams that could go either way. Allen has a lot of pressure this season, he was picked before reigning MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2019 and unless he has a breakout season the Bills may regret their decision. The good news for him is that a young quarterback has won the award the last two seasons. He also has the benefit of the doubt since no one expected Jackson to have the season he did last year, why can’t Allen do something similar? At this point, I wouldn’t bet that Allen wins MVP, but I’m sure that Bills Mafia would love to see him prove me wrong.

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