New England Patriots

Bill Belichick makes interesting Josh Allen/Tom Brady comparison

Allen has come a long way since his first two seasons.

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick almost always has plenty of praise for his team's upcoming opponent. You'll never hear Belichick give that team or its players any bulletin board material. Even if it's the worst team in the NFL, he'll find something nice to say.

So it wasn't surprising that Belichick had some positive comments about Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen on Wednesday morning.

But he took it a little further than normal by comparing the star quarterback to former Patriots legend Tom Brady in regards to making a Year 3 leap and then sustaining that level of performance long term.

"Just kind of like Brady. Once Brady got to a certain point there in 2003, that's pretty much the way it was the rest of his career," Belichick said in his Wednesday press conference. "It wasn't really like that in 2002. It wasn't like that in 2001. It certainly wasn't like that in 2000. Once he got to a certain point there about the midseason of the 2003 season and then the playoffs, from then on, it was his level of performance and play and consistency (that) was at the very top of the league.

"Different style of play. Once those quarterbacks, usually when they get to that point, they're able to sustain it. Sometimes you just don't know what the growth pattern is going to be. It doesn't really matter where he was or where he is right now. He's pretty good. Real good."

The chart below is a look at Allen's and Brady's stats in Year 3 as a starting quarterback. It should be noted that the NFL was not a pass-happy league in 2003, which is one of the reasons why Brady's stats don't jump off the page.

He actually led the league with 28 passing touchdowns in 2002. For context, Dak Prescott (30) and Brock Purdy (29) already have more with two games left in the 2023 campaign.

A huge part of Brady's leap in 2003 was a successful playoff run. The Patriots won their second title in three years. After two games in which the defense was largely responsible for playoff wins, it was Brady who bailed out the defense in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers. He threw for 354 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, including a late drive that got Adam Vinatieri into field goal range for the winning score.

Allen has yet to enjoy the same playoff success as Brady at this stage of his career, although in fairness, nobody has. The Bills got to the AFC Championship Game in 2020 when Allen made his Year 3 leap, but they lost to the Chiefs. It's the only AFC title game the Bills have reached with Allen despite having some very good teams during his career.

After going through some midseason struggles, the Bills have a three-game win streak entering Sunday's matchup versus the Patriots in Buffalo. That streak includes victories over the Chiefs and Cowboys.

The Bills are starting to play their best football of the season at the perfect time, and they should have plenty of motivation to beat the Patriots after losing in Foxboro back in Week 7.

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