Former University of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen entered Buffalo’s game against Baltimore during the second half. The game was already lost for the Bills with the Ravens leading 33-0.
Allen relieved starter Nate Peterman who finished with a stat line reading: 5-for-18 for 24 yards with two interceptions. Allen came in and mopped up, going 6-for-15 for 74 yards and leading the Bills’ only scoring drive in the 47-3 loss.
Sunday’s game didn’t go as planned for Buffalo, and I don’t believe the Bills ever intended to play their rookie quarterback during week one of the season. And whether or not the two things correlate, Allen will make his first start this week for Buffalo when it hosts the Los Angeles Chargers.
This will mark the first-ever NFL start for a former UW quarterback. In fact, Allen’s first pass last weekend represented the first-ever NFL pass from a former Wyoming Cowboy quarterback.
I’m excited as any Wyoming fan to see Allen sling it around Sunday. I can’t wait for the graphic to pop up showing Allen’s college and the announcers to mention his alma mater. It will be a monumental day for the University of Wyoming.
I didn’t foresee this day coming so soon. I thought — with the announcement of Peterman as the starter and the preseason play of both QBs — that Allen wouldn’t see the field until later in the season, if at all, and I’m conflicted about Sunday.
While I’m excited for the deja vu and good memories that will flow over me Sunday watching Allen scramble around and rocket a pass across his body while on the run, I worry the Bills have rushed a very delicate situation.
Cleveland has long been known for pushing rookie quarterbacks into the fray too soon and it hasn’t worked out for them — people set up QB graveyards in northeast Ohio during Halloween, that’s how bad it has gotten.
I want the very best for Allen, and I feel like Buffalo is a good situation for him long term. It’s a cold-weather city — I can already hear the sarcastic laughs from Laramie — with a passionate fan base, a young energetic coaching staff and team that has shown it doesn’t need a transcendent quarterback to make the playoffs, using last year as evidence.
I want Allen to have a very long and prosperous professional career as I beam with UW pride for the next decade and a half. I hope Buffalo didn’t make the wrong decision and while Sunday isn’t the end all be all, it will give a glimpse as to whether or not the Bills made a mistake by rushing Allen onto the field.
Many of the NFL experts and pundits believe Allen stood as the most likely “bust” in this past year’s quarterback class, saying things like, “He’s just the big-strong armed quarterback with little accuracy.”
I wholeheartedly believe Allen is more than that. I believe he can be a franchise quarterback much like Carson Wentz in Philadelphia. If Allen hears and listens to all the so-called experts who have critiqued, and in large part ridiculed his collegiate play, it will only fuel him. He played with unbelievable passion and heart while at UW, trying to prove everyone wrong. He wanted to show that, while happy in Laramie, every college program that passed on him made a mistake.
I just hope Buffalo didn’t make a mistake, rushing Josh Allen into action.