Casual NFL fans may have thought they were seeing double on a play late in the first half of the Jaguars-Bills games. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen was brought down on a sack by a Jacksonville defender.
Who was that pass rusher? Josh Allen.
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So, yes. It happened. Josh Allen sacked Josh Allen. It marked the first time in NFL history that a sack occurred involving two players with identical names since sacks became an official sack in 1982, per NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano.
Josh Allen just sacked Josh Allen.
It’s the first time a player has sacked a QB with the same name since the @NFL started counting sacks in 1982.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) November 7, 2021
And later in the game, the Jaguars’ Allen got the better of the Bills’ Allen again. He intercepted a pass from the Buffalo quarterback and gave the Jaguars the ball in good field position.
That marked the first time that a player making an interception had an identical name to the player throwing the interception.
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Allen wasn’t done. The Jaguars forced a fumble of the Bills’ quarterback and the Jaguars’ pass rusher was able to recover it. That meant that Josh Allen had recovered a Josh Allen fumble.
Both of the Allens knew these achievements were possible coming into the game. The Jaguars pass rusher was asked about sacking Allen and said that he was looking forward to the “challenge” of bringing him down.
“I’m just looking forward to playing against this team and looking forward to playing against him,” Allen said, per ESPN. “He’s been playing at a high level recently. He’s been evading sacks recently. He’s been getting out the pocket, he’s been scrambling. His O-line does a really good job protecting him, so I love this challenge.
“I don’t want to really speak [about sacking the Bills’ Allen], you know what I’m saying, but we’re going to get after them — but we have to do it early and throughout the whole game.”
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Meanwhile, the Bills’ Allen said the two would interact before the game, but the quarterback was hopeful that they wouldn’t talk much during the game. Why? Because that would mean that the Jaguars’ pass rush wasn’t getting to him.
“I don’t want to talk to him in between the lines, you know, as long as he’s staying off of me,” Allen said. “But again, we got to be prepared for him and their defense as a whole.”
To his credit, Allen did well to avoid some sacks early in the game with his scrambling ability. He just wasn’t able to do so on the Allen-Allen play as he never saw the third-year pass rusher coming. And the same thing happened on the interception.
This isn’t the first time the players have made history for their identical names. They were selected with the seventh overall pick in the draft back to back years. The Bills’ Allen was selected in 2018 while the Jaguars drafted their Allen in 2019.