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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen poised for best season with Stefon Diggs addition

QB Josh Allen's deep game for Buffalo should get much better with the addition of deep threat Stefon Diggs.
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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is one of the most athletic signal-callers in the NFL without question and probably its second-best running one behind the incomparable Lamar Jackson. While Jackson rushed for a QB-record 1,206 yards along with seven scores last year, Allen put 510 yards and nine touchdowns. Allen is one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in their first two seasons.

However, what Allen can't do, which is somewhat important for a quarterback, is throw with much accuracy. (Then again, that was the knock on Jackson, too, and look what he did in 2019 in winning NFL MVP.) As a rookie in 2018, Allen completed a league-worst 52.8 percent of his passes; even mega-bust Josh Rosen was ahead of him. Last year, Allen improved to 58.8 percent, but it was still last among qualified QBs.

Things are even more concerning on deep passes as Allen, who has one of the NFL's strongest arms, had the lowest completion percentage on those in 2019 at just 22.2 – yet he went deep at the sixth-highest rate in the league. That lack of accuracy on deep balls is partly why Allen has yet to eclipse 300 yards passing through 29 career games (including playoffs).

"Obviously, the deep ball has been a conversation, so he's very aware of that, his feet," Bills coach Sean McDermott said in an ESPN story.

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The good news: Help is on the way. In March, Buffalo traded four draft picks, including the No. 22 overall, in April's draft, to the Minnesota Vikings for wideout Stefon Diggs. Last year, Diggs led the NFL in catching 57.7 percent of his deep targets (minimum 15 targets). He also ranked fourth in the NFL with an average of 17.9 yards per catch. Over the past two seasons, Diggs ranks third in touchdown receptions on passes traveling at least 20 air yards. He and Allen (and some others) worked out in Florida this week. 

John Brown is also a good deep threat. Only throwing deep to Brown last year, Allen was 10-for-26 with 12 touchdowns and one pick. To all other Bills in that scenario, he was 4-for-37 with zero TDs and two picks.

If Allen is even 50 percent better on deep throws with the addition of Diggs, Allen could be a sleeper MVP threat – currently +4000 on the moneyline odds at William Hill. Buffalo also could be a threat to win the AFC for the first time since 1993. The Bills have an Over-Under win total of 9.

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SportsLine Staff