Josh Allen entered the Bills' locker room after turning in one of the best halves of his NFL career. He had picked apart the Steelers' secondary and had helped the Bills build a 31-3 lead.
So, what was going through Allen's head when he went in for his halftime break? He told reporters at his postgame news conference he was "a little ticked off" that he hadn't performed better.
"Honestly, I felt like I missed a few throws," Allen said. "I want to complete every throw. I know it's not typically possible, but there's some things that I could have done better early on in the game."
That's not the response you'd expect from a man who had totaled 348 passing yards and four touchdowns in 30 minutes of football.
Allen may have been critical of himself, but it's clear that his performance against Pittsburgh was one of the finest of his career. And it will do a lot to further establish him as the MVP frontrunner for the 2022 NFL season.
Here's a breakdown of Allen's career day and what it means for him moving forward.
What were Josh Allen's stats vs. the Steelers?
Allen had one of the best passing days of his career. He completed 20 of 31 passes for a career-high 424 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in Buffalo's 38-3 blowout victory at home.
His big day began on his second throw. Allen was standing in his own end zone after Buffalo's Taiwan Jones muffed a kick and recovered it at the 2. He had enough time to find receiver Gabe Davis downfield and perfectly led him with a massive pass.
Davis was able to take the completion 98 yards for the longest touchdown of the season to date.October 9, 2022
Allen was explosive all day. He led the Bills on three touchdown drives that lasted one or two plays. That included a one-play, 62-yard drive with a strike to Davis.
Perhaps most impressive thing about the performance was that Allen was able to do it without having most of his complementary receivers. Dawson Knox, Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie all missed the game due to injuries, so Allen had to rely on Davis and Stefon Diggs as his main weapons.
Allen effectively distributed the ball to the duo. Davis caught just three passes but turned them into 171 yards and two touchdowns. Diggs caught eight passes for 102 yards and a score.
The fifth-year quarterback also elevated the play of the fill-in receivers. He got rookies Khalil Shakir and Isaiah Hodgins involved in the offense, and the duo combined for seven catches, 116 yards and a touchdown.
Allen obviously did most of his damage in the first half. The Bills were able to control the game with the run in the second half. Had the game been closer, he could have challenged for Drew Bledsoe's franchise single-game passing record of 463 yards.
What are Josh Allen's stats for 2022?
Allen was in the top 10 in the NFL in most major passing categories (completion percentage, yards, touchdowns, passer rating and QBR) entering Week 5. His standing could improve depending on how Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes play in their respective prime-time games this weekend.
It's worth noting that there have been only three 400-yard passing games in the NFL this season. Tua Tagovailoa has one of them; Allen has the other two.
Josh Allen MVP odds
Allen's strong start to 2022 should only help his MVP case. He entered Week 5 as the favorite at +300, per Vegas Insider, and his massive passing day against the Steelers should shorten the odds. Two other elements of Allen's performance will factor in as well.
First, he was able to reach 400 passing yards with many of his receiving weapons injured. Second, Allen also was the Bills' top rushing threat Sunday. He racked up 42 yards on five carries, which is as many yards as the team's top running back, Devin Singletary, logged on six carries.
The Bills continue to be among the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL despite often leading late. Buffalo threw 36 times on Sunday and ran it just 18 times.
As long as that trend holds — and as long as Allen stays active in the running game — he will continue to account for most of the Bills' offense. That will make it hard to argue against him, especially if the Bills keep winning.