The Jags defensive end I mean, not our guy
This Sunday, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills will look to take down Josh Allen and the Jacksonville Jaguars. For Josh Allen to be successful, he’ll need to avoid negative plays caused by Josh Allen. The 6’5” Josh Allen will have a tough time getting around the 6’5” Josh Allen.
Besides the tomfoolery above, the main reason for the Josh Allen focus this week is the potential for offensive line woes to allow Josh Allen to disrupt Josh Allen. Allen is far and away the largest threat on the Jags, with 4.5 sacks this season (two more than the closest teammate). Allen is also fifth on the team in tackles (31, with 19 solo) and leads Jacksonville TFLs (6) and QB hits (8).
Allen is tied for 24th in the league in sacks. Allen is also 19th (tied) in TFLs, and 35th (tied) in QB hits. The relative ranks don’t exactly scream “nightmare for opposing offenses” but know that these ranks outperform the Bills. The only player ranked above Allen on Buffalo’s roster is Matt Milano. And that’s only in one metric where Milano’s seven TFLs ever so slightly edge out Allen. Bills fans should know very well that you don’t need eye-popping stats to be disruptive.
Josh Allen has three passes defended this year, which for a defensive end often looks like this. Allen often looks like he’s asked to play a bit of contain at times rather than a straight-on attack. Bills fans should be used to this style of play as it’s the primary strategy for our defensive ends. You’ll see below what a more concerted pass rush from Allen looks like. On that note, you’ll see that he uses the full length of his arms to maintain some distance and not get hung up on the block. That allows him to get vertical.
His swipe with the left hand is a “blink and you’ll miss it” move. Timed right like it is here it’s an effective way to clear a hand. Allen then goes right into a rip as he leans into his man. He doesn’t get home on this play but it’s a good show of technique and speed.
I stop on the frame best showing Josh Allen’s awkward looking body positioning. Compare his initial push to that lean. The footwork is pretty subtle as he transitions his body to cut inside. Allen is also able to keep driving his man back as he makes the adjustment. This shift in body weight on the move is a major reason he breaks free that cleanly.
And on this play it’s the upper body that’s the key. Allen keeps a steady base with his lower body and twists just a little bit with his shoulders while tugging with the left arm (pushing with the right). He does all that while they’re moving to his left. Put all that together and you get an opponent who travels a bit further toward the bottom of the screen than he intended. Allen uses that to cut back toward Geno Smith. I’d also add that Allen doesn’t seem like the kind of player to give up on a play.
This is a pretty classic release technique used in just about any situation where hands are used to grab wrists/forearms. Josh Allen dips his right arm at first, which sometimes might be enough to get free. It’s not this time. Allen then raises his arm. In order to keep control of the arm, his opponent has to increase the downward force he’s applying. As that happens, Allen violently brings his arm down.
The sudden movement uses the force from both players to push to the ground and, as is usually the case, it’s too much momentum for human fingers to maintain control. With the trapped arm now free the result is obvious. Allen is no longer being blocked and he’s free to make the tackle.
At 6’5” it’s not incredibly common to be able to describe a player as “graceful” but Allen is often right there. I also think it’s pretty impressive that he has the control to make the play and be almost gentle about taking down Smith.
The Jaguars have a single victory this season, over the Miami Dolphins who also only have one win. Of Jacksonville’s six losses only one has been by a single score. Two losses have been by three scores. That includes Josh Allen’s best performance against a 24-point loss to the Seattle Seahawks (2 sacks, 2 QB Hits, 4 TFLs).
I’m not usually the type to pile on but one more stat for good measure. The league average is 23.5 points per game. The Jaguars’ best game so far this year was half a point below that. You read that right. While there should be some leeway as teams can’t score half-points, the Jaguars have not yet seen a league-average game.
If the Jaguars have any hope of winning this game they’ll need someone to step up in a major way. The best bet is Josh Allen.