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How much will Josh Allen influence Giants' decision on their starting quarterback?

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills runs in

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills runs in a touchdown during the first quarter against Jabrill Peppers of the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Did Josh Allen push the Giants toward considering a change at quarterback?

If the team decides to bench Eli Manning in favor of rookie Daniel Jones, there is a good chance Allen’s performance on Sunday against the Giants gave them a nudge in that direction. It wasn’t so much what the second-year quarterback for the Bills did with his arm, but what he did with his legs.

Pat Shurmur, at several points since the completion of the 28-14 loss, seemed impressed by Allen’s ability to move outside the pocket and was particularly enamored by Allen’s 6-yard touchdown dash on a designed run from the shotgun formation.

“That was a good play,” Shurmur said on Monday. “Well-designed and he did a nice job.”

On Sunday, after the game, Shurmur noted there were “a couple times he broke contain, and he made some really nice throws . . . Then they had the structured quarterback run that he scored on.”

Those types of plays are not in the Giants’ arsenal. At least not with Manning at quarterback. Jones, however, could bring that element to the offense.

“He has a much better skill set to do those types of things than Eli,” Shurmur said Monday of Jones. “Yes, that’s fair.”

The Giants also saw Dak Prescott in Week 1. The Cowboys quarterback was able to make plays on the ground. There weren’t long dashes, at least not against the Giants, but he did have four carries for 12 yards, two of them picking up first downs.

Shurmur has spoken quite a bit about what having a mobile quarterback brings to an offense, even before the Giants selected Jones with the sixth overall pick. Most of the times he’s been on successful teams, he has had a quarterback who was not necessarily a runner, but one who could run when called upon. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula certainly has experience in that area, too, having coached Cam Newton in Carolina. Earlier this spring, Shula raved about Jones’ athleticism and even compared it (though not his size and power) with a young Newton.

Maybe a better, more current comparison would be Allen.

“When you do that and you have a quarterback who can do those things [that Allen did], I think that’s smart,” Shurmur said on Monday. “I think that’s utilizing the talents of the player you are working with.”

And it may have forced the Giants into reconsidering which player they’ll be working with.
 

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