ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Josh Allen just finished the best regular season by a Bills quarterback ever as he broke a laundry list of team records in just his third season in the NFL.
He only played through the first half in the regular season finale against the Dolphins but that’s all it took to break Drew Bledsoe’s record for the most passing yards in a single-season.
“You know the one last thing I had to hold on to was this single-season yardage record and now he took that one out of the books too but it’s just really exciting,” Bledsoe laughed on a zoom call with News 4 Sports.
Bledsoe played for the Bills from 2002-2004 after spending the first nine years of his career with the Patriots, who drafted him with the first overall pick in 1993.
His first season with the Bills in 2002 was one of his best ever. He ended with 4,359 yards and 24 touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in his career. That’s also when he set the record for most passing yards in a single-season that Allen just broke.
“I was on a zoom call during the Monday night game when Eric Moulds’ record got erased and both of us are the same. We’re very, very happy about it but we have to pretend to be pissed off for a little bit but we’re both obviously really excited for him,” Bledsoe joked.
Allen took a giant step in his development in year three as far as his pocket presence and accuracy downfield.
“It’s been exciting to see him go from a guy that in his first couple years, you know obvious talent but maybe inconsistent, turned the ball over a little bit, some of those things, to now a guy that can still do the big time things, he can make the big time throws, he can make plays with his legs but he’s also remarkably efficient,” Bledsoe explained.
It’s crazy to think Allen never had a 300 yard passing game before this season as he ended this year with eight, yet another one of Bledsoe’s records he broke.
“I think there needs to be an asterisk next to these records because the weather’s been too good. You know I was watching a game in Buffalo in November and they’re out there in short sleeves and the sun’s shining. I’m like no wait a second, this is Buffalo, you’re supposed to be playing in the snow in November so I have to admit a little bit of jealousy because they haven’t had to deal with the crazy snow storms,” Bledsoe laughed.
“It’s a credit to him personally obviously for coming in as a first-round draft pick and obviously a talented kid but to take that as a launching point rather than a finishing point and to grow and develop,” Bledsoe said.
And even Bledsoe says he sees some similarities between his game and Allen’s but there’s one aspect of his game Allen has a leg up on.
“I’ll give myself the credit to say that we throw it similar from the pocket but he also brings that added dimension that was never really part of my game in that he can pull it down and run with it,” Bledsoe said.
Now Allen will try to help win the franchise’s first playoff game since 1995 as they host the Colts on Saturday where fans will be allowed to attend the game for the first time this season (6,700 fans allowed). And Bledsoe remembers the passion of this Bills’ fan base and noticed it right away after coming over from the Patriots.
“Coming out of the New England sports scene and then coming to Buffalo there’s one example that I can give that really lays out the difference between those two fan bases. You know Bill Buckner from the Red Sox, he let a ground ball go through his legs and they ended up not going on to win the World Series and he couldn’t come back to Boston for like 25 years,” Bledsoe said.
“Well Scott Norwood misses the game-winning kick in the Super Bowl and it’s a famous story that just epitomizes the fans in Buffalo, they go to the rally after they lost the Super Bowl and he didn’t want to come out on the stage and the fans all started chanting for him so he could come out so they could cheer for him. And it was just a great example of just how much love those fans have is really genuine, it’s not conditional like it is in so many other places.”