The New England Patriots won't face many quarterbacks who are better at running the football than Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills' second-year quarterback picks up huge chunks of yards on the ground with his impressive athleticism and strength. Allen, who's listed at 6-foot-5 and 237 pounds, also isn't easy to bring down.
What sort of challenge does Allen present the Patriots defense ahead of Sunday's Week 4 game in Buffalo? Patriots head coach Bill Belichick highlighted a few areas during his Wednesday press conference.
"He's like a running back," Belichick explained. "He breaks tackles, he's got good speed, good power and he's shifty and he avoids and breaks a lot of tackles. Yeah, that's another dimension. A sixth receiver in the passing game, if you will, and gives you another blocker in the running game when they have designed run plays for him.
"They've hit a lot of them at critical times, a lot of big plays, touchdowns, red area, third-down conversions, things like that. They use them in some timely ways, well-designed plays that create problems for the defense. He adds that element to their offense and they've used it very effectively."
Allen played just 12 games as a rookie and still tallied 631 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. He's been a little less effective on the ground this season, with 105 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. Still, Allen's ability to escape the pocket and pick up first downs with his legs is something the Patriots defense will need to be aware of at all times. Tackling also will be a huge factor Sunday, but in fairness to the Patriots, they rank among the best tackling teams in the league.
Allen isn't the only rushing threat in the Bills offense.
Veteran running back Frank Gore -- yes, that Frank Gore -- is still a quality player in his 15th pro season. He's racked up 164 rushing yards and two touchdowns in three games for Buffalo.
"Fourth-leading rusher all-time in NFL history. I think that pretty much says it all right there," Belichick said of Gore. "Guy's a great player, great competitor, he's hard to tackle, just a good football player."
The Patriots are well-equipped to slow down the Bills' rushing attack. New England has allowed the fewest rushing yards per game and per carry this season, in addition to giving up zero rushing touchdowns through three games.
The Bills, however, are by far the best rushing team the Patriots will have played at this point of the season. They should give the Patriots' run defense an excellent test, and the winner of this matchup likely will emerge from Week 4 with an unbeaten 4-0 record atop the AFC East.
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