Josh Allen used Bills playoff loss to change career path

ORCHARD PARK — Unless we’re talking about the Buffalo Bills between those forgettable years from 2000 to 2016, the fortunes of NFL teams can change drastically in a very short time. Week to week for sure, month to month, and certainly season to season.

Case in point, look at what has happened to the Bills and the Houston Texans in the last 20 months.

In January of 2020, the Bills blew a 16-0 second-half lead and lost 22-19 in overtime to the Texans in an AFC wild-card playoff game.

The following week, as Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen was licking his wounds and already plotting how he was going to change his career arc for the better, the Texans opened a 24-0 second-quarter lead on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs and seemed destined to advance to the AFC Championship Game.

Since then? The Texans blew that massive lead by halftime — yes, halftime — and lost to the 51-31 Chiefs, then sank to the depths of the NFL in 2020 with a 4-12 record as the career of their MVP-level quarterback, DeShaun Watson, catapulted into chaos.

More:Bills aren’t sure what to expect from Texans rookie QB Davis Mills

Josh Allen scored this touchdown in the first quarter and had the Bills in a commanding lead in the AFC wild-card playoff game in January 2020.

As for Allen, he used that disappointment to fuel one of the most remarkable one-year turnarounds we’ve ever seen from an NFL quarterback as he set multiple team records, finished runner-up in the NFL’s MVP balloting, and led the Bills to a 13-3 record and an appearance in the AFC title game.

Sunday when the Texans visit Highmark Stadium, they will do so as an uncommon-for-the-NFL 17-point underdog, highlighting just how much the prosperities of these two teams having completely flipped — Buffalo now a Super Bowl contender and Houston a No. 1 overall pick contender in the 2022 NFL Draft.

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