Lions impressed by tame Allen, Bills’ rebuild

Josh Allen hasn’t led the Buffalo Bills to a victory the last two weeks, but he’s emerged as a team leader.The rookie quarterback, taken with the seventh overall pick in the draft, has impressed his coaches and teammates by taking ownership of the offense. He’ll make his fourth consecutive start since recovering from an elbow injury when the Bills host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.The Bills (4-9) are 1-2 over the last three games but they’ve all been close. They defeated Jacksonville by three points before losing to division foes Miami and the New York Jets by four points apiece.The veterans view him differently since he returned as the No. 1 quarterback.”Josh is a leader,” head coach Sean McDermott told the team’s website and other media members. “That’s a little bit different for a rookie to be the leader, but the position he plays and the way that he’s played and earned their respect, he’s the leader on the offense. The goal is to have one leader in every position room, but that’s not always realistic.”Allen has not stood out in the passing game but is putting pressure on opponents with his feet.Allen has only completed 52.4 percent of his throws this season but rates as one of the NFL’s leading rushers over the past three games. He gained 99 yards and scored a touchdown against the Jaguars, dented the Dolphins for 135 rushing yards and scampered for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Jets.”That’s a weapon for us in that regard but we still have to run our offense,” McDermott said. “When you get too heavy into that bucket, that becomes unhealthy.”Allen’s running threat could be even more essential on Sunday if top running back LeSean McCoy can’t play. McCoy is dealing with a hamstring injury and missed practiced on Wednesday. Chris Ivory will step in as the starter if McCoy is inactive.Facing a mobile quarterback is something that concerns Lions head coach Matt Patricia.”We’re just looking at someone that has been very explosive, very dynamic as a player that’s really given this offense a whole different element that you have to try to defend against,” he said. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us there.”

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