Last year, as the Bills approach a playoff game in Houston, we asked whether Buffalo would unleash Josh Allen as a runner against the Texans after curtailing his running from the 2018 to 2019 regular season. The Bills did.
This year, with his total rushing attempts (102) and average gain per carry (4.1) down from 2019 (109 and 4.7), it’s time to ask the question again. With the Bills entering the single-elimination phase of the season, will they throw caution to the wind and dial up some designed quarterback runs for a quarterback who run with the ball nearly as well as any other NFL quarterback? Will Allen be told to be more willing to tuck the ball and run if no receivers are open?
For today’s game against the Colts, that may not be needed — especially with Stefon Diggs giving Allen a weapon that he has used to the fullest. Allen has improved dramatically as a passer, and the Bills have been playing so well of late that they probably should just keep doing what they’ve been doing. The proverbial flip to southpaw can wait until the next round (against the Steelers, Titans, or Ravens) or the next (possibly against the Chiefs), when the Bills will have a greater need for the element of surprise. Or maybe, if the Bills keep doing what they’ve been doing, maybe it can wait until the Super Bowl.
In last year’s postseason loss to Houston, Allen had more than 100 yards from scrimmage as a runner and receiver, with 92 yards rushing and 18 receiving yards (and a touchdown). The fact that the Bills can likely win without Allen doing it underscores how much the team has improved in just one year.