In the NFL, there are amazing quarterbacks, there are awful quarterbacks, and then there are quarterbacks who maddeningly bounce between those two tiers, sometimes on a play-by-play basis.
Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston come to mind as signal callers who fit that third description perfectly. After his performance on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, Kyle Allen officially claimed a spot in that group, too.
In Washington's 20-19 loss to the Giants, Allen generated some truly impressive plays. Both of his touchdown throws, the first to Logan Thomas and the second to Cam Sims, were as accurate as can be in important, end-of-half situations. He also came up with a wacky and wild but winning-quality scramble in the fourth quarter to extend a drive that would end in a field goal.
Unfortunately, the third-year pro was also behind a few unforgivable mistakes.
Allen's first quarter interception was a ghastly one, giving James Bradberry one of the easier picks he'll ever have in the league. Daniel Jones went on to convert Allen's turnover into a six-pointer for the home side.
He really one-upped himself with this fourth quarter fumble, though, which the Giants recovered and returned for what would be the game-winning score:
Back-breaking isn't a severe enough term for that error.
To Allen's credit, he got the ball back following that crushing sequence and led the offense on 10-play, 80-yard drive that he capped with his clutch connection with Sims. Yet the ensuing failed two-point conversion dampened that highlight.
After the matchup, Ron Rivera was asked if Allen did enough to keep his starting job for next week's meeting with the Cowboys.
"Yeah, I would like to believe so," he answered.
Rivera's not wrong with that response — as tragic as Allen's blunder's were, he was two yards away from securing a victory and he certainly had his unit moving at times — but the fact that the coach faced that question was fitting.
Allen being Washington's starter will always seem temporary, something that has to be evaluated on a game-by-game basis. Rivera said as much when he benched Dwayne Haskins in favor of Allen on Oct. 7.
So, one can hope that Allen will avoid the same fate, and he'll come up with some tremendous moments that buy him time, but eventually, it feels like he'll inevitably be asked to step aside as well. His competitiveness and his familiarity with the system — his positive qualities — will likely never be enough to overcome his flaws. Sunday's effort in New York encapsulated that perfectly.