The Buffalo Bills gave Josh Allen the tools he needed to take his game to the next level and so far, he hasn’t disappointed but now comes the real test.
Going up against the reigning NFL MVP, the Bills quarterback will need to prove why he was worth being selected ahead of Lamar Jackson who picked up his first playoff victory against the Tennessee Titans in the wild-card round. Both quarterbacks coming into this game with their confidence at an all-time high which should make for a great showdown.
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However, Allen faces a tougher test against the Baltimore Ravens defense who believe they have the recipe to make life miserable for the Bills quarterback. As the Toronto Sun’s John Kryk explains, Baltimore likes to blitz and found that to be extremely useful against Allen when both teams last played.
Allen dropped back 46 times in that game and saw the Ravens blitz him 31 times and he only managed 146 yards and a touchdown.
According to Next Gen Stats, Allen has 15 touchdowns and two interceptions against the blitz this season. He’s also improved on his ability to evade pressure in the pocket and extend plays with his legs to either rush for a big play or wait for a receiver to get open.
While the Titans only put up 13 points against Baltimore. A.J. Brown found some early success and finished the game with six receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs has emerged as one of the top receivers in the NFL that many defenses have struggled to contain.
He will need to do his best to give Allen a way to generate a rhythm early in the game and it will help if Cole Beasley can continue to be a weapon in the slot and Gabriel Davis can build off a great game against the Colts.
What Baltimore can do in the rushing game will try to limit Allen’s time on the field which is why the Bills defense will need to be at their best. Jonathan Taylor showed that Buffalo still struggles against teams that thrive with the run which is how the Ravens operate especially Jackson.
So while the pressure will be on Allen and his ability to make big plays. his ability to outduel Jackson won’t be done by himself.
What do you think about the Bills’ chances to beat the Ravens? Can Allen outduel Jackson? Let us know in the comments below.