Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly holds all the Buffalo Bills passing records. However, the legend knows he's simply holding the fort for a bit longer, waiting for Josh Allen to pass him by eventually.
After Kelly retired following the 1996 season, the Bills wandered in the wilderness, unable to find a long-term franchise signal-caller. From Todd Collins to Doug Flutie to Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, EJ Manuel, Kyle Orton, Tyrod Taylor and your Nathan Peterman-types tossed in along the way. None held the mantle.
Kelly said he was convinced even before Allen's MVP-caliber 2020 campaign that the QB finally stopped the revolving door. Finally, the Bills found their franchise signal-caller.
"There's no doubt," Kelly told the team's official website. "I mean if he's gone, I don't know who is or who it's going to be. He just has to be consistent. And I know him well enough to know that the kid can play. If you can get the right material around him, which I think he has, and the offensive line gives him time to throw things will be awesome. And talk about my records, I knew before last season started that those records aren't going to stay around very long."
Kelly holds all the significant Bills QB records as he won 101 regular-season games in his 11-year career, compiling 35,467 yards and 237 TDs. Allen is on pace to blow by those figures, even after getting off to a slow start as a rookie. If the Pro Bowler doubles down on the 4,544 yards, 37 TD pass 2020 campaign, he'll easily snag Kelly's records before the decade is up.
First, however, the Bills need to lock the QB down long-term.
Allen is eligible for a multi-year extension, but with two years left on his deal -- and the team's ability to use the franchise tag -- there has been no rush to get a deal done from either side. Both the QB and the Bills brass have sounded confident a deal will get done, eventually.
When that happens, then we can get into an earnest discussion on how long it takes Allen to pass all of Kelly's records. The best way for Allen to one-up the legendary Kelly will be to get the Bills back to the Super Bowl, and win it this time.