1 - MMQB analyst compares Josh Allen's skill set to this All-Pro QB
When tasked with finding a quarterback to build their franchise around, Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott chose a player with a familiar skill set.
The duo had grown accustomed to winning with a tall, athletic, and strong-armed passer under center, as the two were on the Panthers’ staff when Cam Newton led the team to a 15-1 record in 2015. When it came time for the executives to select the centerpiece of their Bills’ roster, they chose a player whose physical makeup is nearly identical to that of Newton.
Buffalo selected Josh Allen, a 6-foot-5 quarterback with elite athleticism and a cannon for an arm, in the first round of the 2018 draft. Allen was often compared to Newton in the lead up to the event, which is part of the reason why Buffalo was a logical landing spot for the passer - the Bills’ front office knows how to win with a player like Allen.
Allen lived up to the Newton-comparison in the Bills’ Week 12 win over the Jags, passing for 160 yards and picking up another 99 yards on the ground. Sports Illustrated writer Andy Benoit was impressed with what he saw out of the rookie in the victory, stating that he saw shades of Newton in his performance.
“You know what stood out in this game particularly to me, and I was surprised this wasn’t a bigger factor earlier this season, is Josh Allen can really run,” Benoit said on the MMQB podcast. “His mobility is an asset. I think he’s in the Cam Newton class for talent there… I think he’s in the class . . .
The reason I bring up Newton is Allen can do it as a power runner. He’s 245 pounds, but there’s some load behind his movement . . .
They need to use Josh Allen almost the exact same way as the Panthers use Cam Newton. It’s going to be a watered-down version because Allen’s a few years away from running that kind of expansive offense, but that’s how it has to be. Josh Allen is the next Cam Newton if everything goes well.”
2 - Here’s what has fueled Robert Foster’s emergence
Just six weeks into his rookie campaign, Robert Foster had his NFL opportunity ripped away from him.
The undrafted wideout, who made Buffalo’s 53-man roster out of training camp, failed to make an impact throughout the first six games of the 2018 season, totaling just two receptions for 30 yards. Buffalo waived Foster after its Week 6 loss to the Texans, stowing him away on its practice squad.
“I think being cut is what made me face reality,” Foster said during a recent appearance on One Bills Live. “It made me embrace the opportunities more. It made me, I’m not saying I don’t take my job seriously, but it made me really work on things that I needed to work on as a player in the NFL.”
Though some would be discouraged by the demotion, Foster looked at it as an opportunity, a chance for him to mature and place sole focus on his development.
“I’m young,” Foster said. “I’m a rookie. I’m trying to embrace every opportunity that the vets and coaches give me. It kind of helped me develop more as a player, and that’s what the coaches wanted me to do the whole time.”
Foster showed growth on the scout team, which prompted Buffalo to promote him to its active roster ahead of its Week 10 battle with the Jets. The rookie shined in the 41-10 win, reeling in three passes for 105 yards. Foster made an impact yet again in the Bills’ Week 12 contest with the Jags, catching two passes for 94 yards and one score.
Foster has quickly emerged as a deep threat for Buffalo, a weapon that the team can rely on when it needs a big play. Head coach Sean McDermott has been pleased with the progress he has seen out of Foster.
“I just think that we’re watching a young man develop,” McDermott said. “Number one, understanding what it takes to play in this league. He’s earning the right to get playing time, and he’s made the most of his opportunities since coming back. I’ve enjoyed watching him develop. There’s still room for growth there, just like our football team.”
3 - PFF: Jerry Hughes is unblockable
Offensive tackles have had difficulty blocking Buffalo defensive end Jerry Hughes throughout the entirety of the 2018 season.
In Week 12, Ereck Flowers suffered the same fate.
Hughes was a nightmare for quarterback Blake Bortles in the Bills’ Week 12 win over the Jags. He took advantage of the fact that he was matched up against a tackle that has only been on Jacksonville’s roster for a few weeks, finishing the game with half of a sack and three quarterback hits.
Though Hughes only took Bortles down once in the contest, he was in the fifth-year quarterback’s face more often that not. According to Pro Football Focus, the veteran pass rusher finished the game with eight quarterback pressures.
Hughes now sits at 58 pressures on the season, good for fourth amongst all defenders. Only Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox, and Dee Ford have recorded more quarterback pressures through 12 weeks.