In Josh Allen, Bills have perfect QB to keep bedeviling Bill Belichick, Patriots

Bill Belichick has long been the quarterback whisperer as his Patriots dominated the AFC East and the conference overall. But taming a horse as talented as the Bills’ Josh Allen is proving to be a difficult task. And Allen isn’t going anywhere. It’s a big, strong, fast hurdle for Belichick to revive the New England dynasty without Tom Brady.

After the Bills traded road wins with the Patriots in the 2021 NFL regular season, they built on their second straight division title by defeating the Patriots 47-17 in Saturday’s AFC wild-card playoff game. Allen made sure the outcome of the decider was decided midway through the second quarter.

Going back to his Year 3, Allen is 4-1 against the Patriots the past two seasons. He had a postseason performance for the ages, one for which Belichick never had an answer. Allen posted a near-perfect passer rating (157.6) as he outscored the New England defense for 308 yards and five touchdowns on 21-of-25 passing. He also rushed for 66 yards on six attempts.

Allen threw indefensible pitches and was unstoppable when he decided to take off and run. He was locked into all of his goals at the highest level. He got rid of the ball fast and never faced pressure. It was comfortable in and out of the pocket.

A versatile quarterback in an offense with multiple weapons all over the field? Welcome to someone and something that gives Belichick’s defensive scheme more trouble. It’s the perfect storm and New England’s worst nightmare.

In contrast, the lights were too bright for Allen’s rookie counterpart, Mac Jones, against a tough Bills pass defense. There was early pressure on him to keep up, and that’s not the kind of game New England can beat this version of Buffalo in.

The Patriots’ 14-10 win on Monday night at Highmark Stadium in Week 13 seems like a distant memory. It was definitely an anomaly; Belichick got a big assist against Allen in 40 mph winds and the Bills were caught off guard by an intense run game plan that made Jones a non-factor.

It was cold in the single digits for the Patriots’ return six weeks later, but Allen was kept warm by the winter thaw he felt as he guided the Bills to a 33-21 win at New England in Week 16.

The missing piece for Buffalo going into Week 13 was a solid traditional running game. Over the last five weeks, Devin Singletary has performed as one of the best running backs in the league. Add him to a wide body that goes four deep behind Stefon Diggs and an athletic tight end with good hands in Dawson Knox.

Most defenses don’t have answers for all of that. Belichick can try everything with different personnel groupings and coverage appearances to maximize his talent, but when Allen is executing efficiently and receiving that amount of help, there’s nothing to be done.

Allen is the new Tom Brady of the AFC East, the quarterback everyone is trying to figure out. Although Jones, the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa and the Jets’ Zach Wilson give the other teams the promise of closing the gap, it is now as wide as the one Brady enjoyed during a long stretch in New England.

Physically, Allen is not easy to contain. Mentally, he can make a lot of things break with his weird arm and athletic ability.

There’s only one way the 69-year-old Belichick can get the Patriots back to where they were with Brady, and it’s not by beating Allen on defense. He’ll need to beat him with more offense, and to that end, Jones needs a lot more help to get the Pats on par with the Bills at QB.