Tyrann Mathieu: When Josh Allen runs, we have to treat him like a running back
Bills quarterback Josh Allen played the best game of his career last week when the Bills thrashed the Patriots 47-17 in the wild card round.
When it comes to this week’s opponent, there’s plenty of familiarity with Allen’s skill set. Sunday will mark the fourth time in the last two seasons that the Bills and Chiefs have met. Kansas City won both matchups last year, including the AFC Championship game. But Buffalo won the Week Five matchup 38-20 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Though Allen completed 84 percent of his passes for 308 yards with five touchdowns in last week’s win, he also rushed six times for 66 yards. Allen’s just as much of a threat to run as he is to throw, which is one of the elements Kansas City’s defense is focused on to stop.
“I think he’s a great athlete,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said in his Thursday press conference. “He’s obviously a guy that can make all the throws, and any time he’s using his legs, it seems like it’s to his advantage. So, it obviously adds extra pressure on the guys that are covering, but it also adds pressure on the guys that are rushing him just to stay in their lanes and not let him break containment and get into open field.
“But I think anytime he decides to tuck and run the ball, we have to treat him like a running back and treat him like one of these wide receivers where all 11 guys have to pursue and get to the ball. I think it’s going to be one of those games where we’re going to have to tackle him, and we’re going to have to tackle him well.”
Mathieu noted that it can be deflating when the defense initially has things covered on a play but Allen still runs for positive yardage.
“But he gets paid. He’s going to make his plays,” Mathieu said. “I think this is one of those games that even when those guys make their plays, we just have to go to the next play. We can’t necessarily dwell on the things that they’re doing well. It’s all about what we do and how we respond and react.”