Much-maligned rookie quarterback Josh Allen performed capably for the Buffalo Bills in a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. After a week of seeing his name in headlines with the word “trash” in hot pursuit, the large-handed man out of Wyoming looked like a competent option under center, completing 9 of 13 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. He also gained 18 yards on the ground.
And like it or not, that could be enough for the Bills in the wake of AJ McCarron’s collarbone injury. The starting quarterback decision now comes down to — gulp — Allen, who has his fair share of skeptics, and Nathan Peterman, who has proven capable of throwing five first-half interceptions. Not an ideal situation, no matter how you split the tailgate table.
Peterman has been fantastic in two preseason games, completing 17 of 20 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. One could argue he’d earned a shot over McCarron before Friday night’s injury. But there’s no secret about which quarterback is the franchise’s future: the one taken with the seventh pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Peterman’s ceiling is in the 8-foot range while Allen’s may be one of those tall vaulted things. The Bills have to be impressed with the way he’s extended plays with his legs to this point, as well as his care and accuracy with the football. More importantly, it sounds as if he’s winning over the locker room.
We’ll see if the coronation is being considered in earnest if Allen gets more reps with the first unit the next time out. And look, there are still a bucket of questions surrounding the rookie and there will be growing pains. He may not be ready. I’m just not sure that even matters at this point.