NFL Writer: “I’d Put My Money On Belichick” Always Shutting Down Josh Allen

Tyler Dunne believes Bill Belichick and the Patriots will always have an answer for Josh Allen and the Bills, which is why he likes New England to win the AFC East yet again

The DA Show
September 08, 2020 - 10:05 am
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Even with Tom Brady leaving in free agency, even with eight Patriots opting out of the 2020 season, NFL writer Tyler Dunne still believes New England will win the AFC East for the 17th time in 18 seasons.

“If anybody is going to get the absolute best [out of Cam Newton], and if anybody is going to find a way to keep Josh Allen in the pocket in those pivotal division games and force him to be a thrower of the football, it’s Bill Belichick,” Dunne said on The DA Show. “It’s the Patriots’ division to lose.”

The Bills have made the playoffs in two of the last three seasons but haven’t won a division title since 1995. Dunne picking New England to win the AFC East yet again says as much about his trust in the Patriots as it does his distrust of the Bills.

“Probably a little bit of both,” he said. “As solid as this roster is in Buffalo – and it’s incredible. This is probably the deepest they’ve been since the late-’90s. That’s not an exaggeration. This has been a bad team for an entire generation. It’s a great roster, and you got to give credit to Sean McDermott, [general manager] Brandon Beane, [assistant general manager] Joe Schoen, [director of player personnel] Dan Morgan – their front office is kind of the envy of the NFL. But none of that matters if the quarterback isn’t that good, and I don’t think we know if Josh Allen is good yet.”

Allen, 24, was the seventh overall pick in 2018. Last year, he completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 3,089 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He often relied on his legs in key moments, rushing 109 times for 510 yards and nine touchdowns. He has 17 rushing touchdowns through two seasons.

Allen led Buffalo to a 16-0 lead against Houston in the AFC Wild Card in January, but the Bills lost 22-19 in overtime. Allen was sacked three times and fumbled twice, as the offense mustered just one touchdown – and none after the first quarter.

“Man, it’s ugly,” Dunne said of Allen’s performance that day. “I get it: he put a touchdown on Duke Williams’ hands in the end zone that should have been caught, but there’s about a dozen plays in that game that just make you shake your head uncontrollably. The bomb to the fullback in double coverage, multiple near-pick-sixes, another near-interception, taking a sack on 4th-and-27 – you can go on and on. It was bad. 

“I just felt like when they had to cut him loose, he’s going to have to win you that type of game against Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson,” Dunne continued. “They tempt you into a shootout; you can’t win that 17-14 game that Sean McDermott wants to win in mid-January. To reel off three playoffs wins in a row, I just don’t know if he has it in him. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. But we’ve seen nothing to suggest he does so far, and I’d put my money on Belichick to shut him down – and really, shut him down for good over time.”

The Bills open the season at home against the Jets on Sunday, while the Patriots open at home against the Dolphins. The Bills and Patriots do not meet until Week 8 (Nov. 1) in Buffalo.