Chasing Jim Kelly: Buffalo Bills icon says Josh Allen will ‘break every record I have’ – NFL Nation
As Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills forced NFL fans throughout the country to reevaluate their opinions of the team and its quarterback during a dominant prime-time victory against the 11-win Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14, one of the biggest supporters of Allen and the Bills doubled down on his opinion.
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who has publicly backed Allen, did so once again as relayed by his wife, Jill.
“‘Josh is going to break every record I have.’ Jim Kelly,” Jill wrote on Twitter. “Love to hear it!!”
— Jill Kelly (@jillmkelly12) December 14, 2020
Allen set a franchise record for touchdowns accounted for in a single season after scoring his 35th Sunday night — a record previously set by Kelly in 1991.
Kelly, who played for the Bills from 1986 to 1996 and led the team to four straight Super Bowl appearances, holds franchise records for career passing yards (35,467), passing touchdowns (237) and completions (2,874). He also holds the Bills’ single-season record for touchdown passes (33).
In his third NFL season, Allen is obviously far from touching any of Kelly’s career records, but he is five touchdown passes from tying Kelly’s record of 33 in a season. It’s not a team record, but Kelly’s best season of 3,844 passing yards is 203 yards more than Allen’s current total of 3,641 yards through 13 games. Drew Bledsoe’s single-season record of 4,359 passing yards is also within reach as Allen is on pace for 4,481 yards if he plays all 16 games.
The Bills are in position to capture their first division title since 1995 with a win against the Denver Broncos on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network), but they are a long shot to secure the AFC’s No. 1 seed (and only playoff bye), so Allen and other starters might not play every snap over the final two games.
Allen is also in position to set a Buffalo single-season record for completion percentage if his current 68.6% holds. Same goes for quarterback rating as long as his 103.3 doesn’t dip more than a point, and passer rating as long as his current 76 doesn’t fall below 65.4.
The highest quarterback drafted in Bills history at No. 7 overall, Allen said his contact with Kelly since entering the league has been critical to his development.
“The constant thing he kept telling me was to take what the defense gives you, little tidbits here and there,” Allen said. “But more so about embracing Buffalo and embracing the city here and this community — the type of people and the food. It goes beyond football when we’re talking, but he’s been great with my development here. Not just as a player but as a person, as well. I couldn’t have asked to be in a better situation.”
Allen isn’t the only Bills player adding his name the franchise’s record book this season. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs joined Eric Moulds as the only players in team history to catch 100 passes in a season. Diggs tied Moulds’ record of 100 receptions during Sunday’s win and needs 202 yards over the next three games to set the franchise record for receiving yards in a season (1,368 by Moulds in 1998).
Establishing himself as one of the NFL’s best receivers in his first season with Buffalo, Diggs is happy with his new quarterback and supporting cast.
“Give all the credit to the people around me, especially Josh Allen,” Diggs said. “He’s a younger quarterback and he put his faith and his trust in me to make plays for him. Coach [Brian] Daboll is calling the right stuff and he’s drawing it up upstairs and putting me in the best position to make plays. And then my wide receiver coach, Chad Hall. We put in a lot of work in practice. … I’m just trying to chase these wins.”
If they win out, these Bills will tie the 1990 and 1991 AFC championship teams for most wins in a single season with 13. And if they’re able to do that, it’ll likely be with Allen etching his name in the record books.