Patriots coach Bill Belichick likely will be dealing with Bills quarterback Josh Allen for the rest of Belichick’s career in New England. And every time the two teams prepare to play each other, Allen will now have an extra boost of motivation.
During last night’s broadcast, ESPN’s Brian Griese said at least twice that Belichick isn’t on board with the concept of Allen as an MVP candidate.
“Talking with him this week, he didn’t buy into the Josh Allen craze,” Griese said during the pregame show, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “He said, ‘You know what? We actually played pretty good defense against Josh Allen when we played in November.’”
Said Griese just before the start of the second half, after discussion of Allen’s less impressive numbers during the first Patriots-Bills game of the season, “That’s part of the reason why Bill Belichick told us this week he wasn’t buying into the Josh Allen MVP craze, because he didn’t see it in that first game. He said, ‘We took care of him in that game,’ but tonight’s been a different story.”
After the game, reporters asked Belichick about his production-meeting exchange with the ESPN crew.
“Yeah, I don’t know what they said,” Belichick said. “I’m on the record on that.”
That last part seems to be a nod to the reality that most of the things said in NFL production meetings are treated as off the record. Surely, if Belichick were conveying the notion that he’s not fully on board the Josh Allen bandwagon during a production meeting, Belichick wouldn’t want that shared with the rest of the world.
“They did say you said that you weren’t buying into the Josh Allen MVP craze a couple times,” a reporter said in response. “Is that a fair interpretation of what you said to them?”
“I said multiple times that Josh Allen is a good football player, he’s played well, and he’s having a good year,” Belichick said.
Allen is having a great year, punctuated by last night’s 27-for-36 performance, which generated 320 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. For the season, he has completed 69.1 percent of his throws (so much for accuracy issues), 4,320 yards, 7.9 yards per attempt, 34 touchdown passes, nine interceptions, and a passer rating of 106.4.
And now the Patriots, after years of consistently manhandling the Bills, may be settling into a very different reality. Especially if Allen will consistently be reminded of Belichick’s opinion as every future Patriots game approaches.
Then again, Allen won’t need much motivation when facing the Patriots.
“I know this game,” Allen said regarding their division rivalry with New England. “It, if they didn’t want to admit it, it meant a lot to both sides and there’s a lot of pride on the line.”
The Bills left with all the pride and everything else in dishing out a 38-9 defeat to the Patriot. Allen and the Bills will relish the chance to keep doing that, twice per year for as many years as they can.