1. NFL Network analyst pegs Bills as 'strong contenders'
We're only four games in, but the analytic projection game is already in full swing and NFL.com's Cynthia Frelund is already identifying contenders and pretenders. She describes a contender as a team projected to either earn a playoff bye or one that is likely to advance to at least the Divisional round of the postseason.
Frelund has the Bills at the top of her list as one of her three strong playoff contenders. Here was her take on Buffalo.
Josh Allen's immense improvement (+12.1 completion percentage and +37.4 passer rating from 2019) in Brian Daboll's architecture, Buffalo's continuity and high-level results from the O-line, along with the addition of Stefon Diggs, have resulted in the third-year quarterback boasting a sparkling touchdown-to-interception ratio (12:1) and the second-highest yards-per-attempt rate (9.0) in the NFL. This offense also ranks third in big plays (passes of 20-plus yards + runs of 10-plus yards), another metric of success that, if the trend holds, will be a big factor for the Bills beyond the regular season.
2. Josh Allen getting more MVP pub
It's not the first time and if his level of play continues it certainly won't be the last, but Josh Allen is again getting league MVP pub. The latest comes from NFL.com, which has him among the top three contenders with Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson.
Around the NFL writer Nick Shook offered the following on Allen's play thus far.
In Year 3,Josh Allenhas continued to develop from a first-round pick with physical potential and accuracy issues into a playmaking signal-caller the likes of which Buffalo hasn't seen since the days of Jim Kelly. He's accomplishing this by cutting down on his risks and targeting the open man. The quarterback has shortened his attempts, going from 11 air yards per pass as a rookie to 8 in 2020, and he's targeting open receivers on 51.4 percent of his attempts, well above his rookie-year mark of 39.7 percent. Allen's deep passes have dropped in frequency, as well; in 2018, 18.1 percent of his attempts were deep, compared to just 10.1 percent this season.
Instead of swinging for home runs, Allen is settling for singles and doubles, producing a boost in every significant category, along with a 12:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Given these numbers, it's easy to see why the Bills are 4-0 after the first month of the season.
3. ESPN gives first quarter Coordinator of the Year award to Brian Daboll
It was an award made in passing as ESPN's Bill Barnwell handed out first-quarter of the season awards in his latest column. QB Josh Allen wound up third in his first quarter MVP voting behind Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, and head coach Sean McDermott ranked second in his first quarter Coach of the Year race behind only Green Bay's Matt LaFleur, but Daboll was the only coordinator named by Barnwell. Here was his assessment.
*Coordinator of the Year: Brian Daboll, OC, Buffalo Bills *As surprising as Josh Allen's turnaround has been, Daboll's emergence as one of the league's best offensive coordinators might be even more surprising. His offenses a decade ago with the Browns, Dolphins and Chiefs were nothing memorable, but his current scheme is a quintessential modern offense, with heavy doses of motion and play-action. Both he and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier should be in line for head-coaching consideration after the season.