Josh Allen’s running is risky, but very effective


When Bills quarterback Josh Allen entered the league four years ago, it quickly became apparent that he’s a genuine threat in the running game. By his second year, the Bills started using him a bit more sparingly, until the postseason rolled around and they unleashed him against the Texans.

Now in his fifth year, it’s fair to wonder whether Allen will be running more than usual. With 10 carries for 56 yards on Thursday night (one was a kneel down in victory formation), he  has 13 career regular-season games with 10 or more carries. He averages 6.96 carries per game.

The Bills execute roughly four designed runs per game with Allen. In the Week One win over the Rams, it looks as if the Bills called an Allen run four times, with five runs coming via scrambles.

His most memorable two plays on Thursday night — a stiff-arm on third down and his rushing touchdown to push the margin to 24-10 — came after Allen decided that no one was open so he’d pull the ball down and go. It worked. Most importantly, he avoided getting himself hurt. The question is whether he can continue to strike the balance between running the ball effectively and not getting himself injured.

The more hits any quarterback takes, the greater the chance he’ll get injured. That reality applies no matter how big, strong, and fast the quarterback may be. Allen’s running can be a very potent weapon. But it definitely raises the stakes. Especially if officials are no longer going to protect quarterbacks who morph into running backs.

13 responses to “Josh Allen’s running is risky, but very effective

  1. Al Davis said it “the opposing QB must go down and he must go down hard” If Allen goes down they go with Case Keenum, good but not great.
    Same thing around the league, if your franchise QB is #1 whats your most valuable second asset?
    Better have a plan B…just saying.

  2. Running is his X factor. Teams have to respect his arm, which is why his runs are so dangerous. It’s the opposite of Lamar Jackson.

    Josh Allen would be far less effective if he stopped running.

  3. As long as no one gets ‘dirty’ tackling Allen, he should keep doing it his way. His stiff arm skills might be the best ever for a QB. He is certainly the best ever at hurdling players in his way.

    Through it all, when there is doubt, Allen ate it up and spit it out.

  4. This is pretty overplayed.

    Mobile QB’s do NOT get injured more often. Allen has more of a linebacker’s mentality, and thrives on the contact. As a fan, I’d love it if he played it safer. But then he’d be a different guy.

  5. Its not that he runs. Its that he tasks weird risks sometimes when he runs. He needs to be a bit smarter about when to get down or avoid a hit. He ca still run for 500 and 8 TDs every year if he wants.

  6. Critics and football know it alls.. let the guy play. Just stop. He plays and doesn’t work about getting hurt. If he worried about getting hurt and stayed in the pocket all the time he’d get hurt and or might not be as effective.
    Play ball Josh!

  7. As long as no one gets ‘dirty’ tackling Allen, he should keep doing it his way. His stiff arm skills might be the best ever for a QB. He is certainly the best ever at hurdling players in his way.
    If the refs keeps calling his favor… But one shot and he’s done, keep running him Buff all NE is waiting to see your back up QB:)

  8. Someone a lot smarter than I did a study on running QB’s, and they do not get hurt more often than traditional pocket passers. In fact, pocket passers are more likely to get injured while “standing tall” waiting for someone to get open. I’m not worried about a QB built like a linebacker taking off… Josh is more likely to do to trucking, than to be trucked.

  9. I know this is a over used saying but Allen is a man among boys. He has the same effect as Derrick Henry. But more dangerous because he’s has the arm to go along with the wheels.

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