In a rather unusual twist of fate, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen finds himself in the unique position of squaring off against a player who shares not only his first name but also the rare distinction of being a seventh overall NFL draft pick. No, this isn’t about fearing himself. Instead, Allen, the Buffalo Bills quarterback, made the remark when he was asked about facing Allen, the Jacksonville Jaguars pass-rusher yet again.
Josh Allen, the signal-caller for the Bills, reflected on their first encounter, which took place in November 2021, when the Jaguars stunned the Bills with a 9-6 victory in Jacksonville. In that game, Allen completed 31-of-47 passes but failed to throw a touchdown, threw two interceptions, and even lost a fumble. He also took matters into his own hands on the ground, leading the team in rushing with five carries for 50 yards. However, despite a strong individual effort, the Bills’ offense sputtered, unable to put together a drive longer than 45 yards.
On the other side of the ball, Josh Allen, the defensive end for the Jaguars, had a stellar performance. He accounted for one of the four sacks on the Bills’ Allen, finishing the game with a team-high eight tackles, one quarterback hit, two tackles for loss, an interception, a pass defensed, and the recovery of Allen’s fumble.
“He’s one of the predominant pass-rushers in this league,” acknowledged quarterback Allen. “I think everybody that plays against them has to have a plan in place for him. We’re going to be no different. We’ve played some really good D-lines already early in this year, and it’s not stopping this week with this group.”
However, the quarterback also recognizes that the defensive end, who is in a contract year, presents a significant challenge. Allen was limited in Jaguars practice on Wednesday due to a shoulder injury but has had a stellar start to the 2023 season with six sacks, tying him for the league lead and setting a franchise record through four games. If he manages to record even half a sack against the Bills, he will secure the most sacks in Jaguars history through five games.
Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell commented on Allen’s impressive performance, saying, “Josh has had a bunch of pressures last year, and he went home and focused on just finishing. As a staff and as a defense, we talked about finishing and him being able to finish early on in the season. We look for that to continue. Josh put the work in the offseason; he’s a talented player, he came back, and it’s paying off for him and us.”
On the flip side, quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills has been on fire lately. After a shaky start in the Week 1 opener against the Jets, where he committed four turnovers, he has rebounded impressively. He currently leads the league in completion percentage (74.8%), has committed only one turnover in the past three weeks, and has guided the Bills’ offense to three consecutive games with 35 or more points. He has been sacked just nine times this year, ranking tied for 16th. Over the past three games, he has been named AFC Player of the Week and has exhibited an MVP-caliber performance. If he maintains this level of play against the Jaguars, redemption will be well within reach.
While Josh Allen sacking Josh Allen once again and disrupting the quarterback’s day may be crucial for the Jaguars to extend their winning streak in this matchup, containing the Bills’ potent offense will not be an easy task. Buffalo has the potential to become the fourth team in NFL history to win four consecutive games by at least 25 points.
Beyond the game’s outcome, what makes this matchup intriguing are the remarkable similarities between the two Allens. Both were selected seventh overall in the NFL draft, with the Bills picking their quarterback in 2018 and the Jaguars selecting the pass-rusher a year later.
“First round, seventh overall, back-to-back years,” quarterback Allen marveled. “I still think that’s kind of crazy. The same name.”
The stage is set for the second installment of the Josh Allen Bowl, and football fans will be eagerly watching to see which Josh Allen comes out on top this time. The Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET, and it promises to be an exciting showdown between these two talented players who just happen to share a name.