Come Sunday, Josh Allen will try to take down Josh Allen.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen faces Jacksonville Jaguars pass rusher Josh Allen. The Allens were each the No. 7 overall pick in back-to-back NFL drafts, with the Bills selecting the QB in 2018 and the Jags taking the edge rusher in 2019.
"We've never actually met in person," the quarterback said, via the Associated Press. "We've messaged on Twitter and Instagram. Obviously, we follow each other: first round, seventh pick two years in a row, Josh Allen's the pick. That was pretty cool.
"We've shared, just exchanged messages, just common name, and draft pick. A big fan of his. He's a great player. I know he's coming into his own right now and we've got to be prepared for him because he can ruin a game plan. That's why he was drafted so high and he's playing at a really high level right now."
The Jags pass rusher has 4.5 sacks this season, leading the team, including a two-sack performance last week. He's playing well and is one of the only bright spots on a struggling Jacksonville defense.
"I'm just looking forward to playing against this team and looking forward to playing against him," the pass rusher said. "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.
"We're going to get after them, but we have to do it early and throughout the whole game."
Sunday will mark the fourth game in NFL history between a starting QB and an opposing defensive player with the same exact listed name, per NFL Research. The defensive player won each of the previous such games:
- Week 1, 1950, Eagles QB Tommy Thompson vs. Browns LB Tommy Thompson
- Week 12, 1950, Eagles QB Tommy Thompson vs. Browns LB Tommy Thompson
- Week 7, 1997, Bills QB Todd Collins vs. Patriots LB Todd Collins
Since individual sacks were first tracked in 1982, there has never been an NFL player to sack a QB with the exact same listed name.
The Jags' Allen said he's not often confused for the star Bills quarterback and MVP candidate, save one time.
"I actually got an email [of his]," he said. "I'm not going to tell his business, but I got an email for him and I'm reading. I'm like, 'Oh, yeah.' Then I went to the bottom and I was like, 'I don't think this one was for me.' So that was the only hiccup I got from just outside of like just fans or whatever."
Pressed on the contents of the email, the Jags edge rusher intimated it was financial in nature.
"It would have been good if it was on me, I'll tell you that," he said.
It would be good for the Jags on Sunday if their Josh Allen repeatedly gets in the face of the Bills' Josh Allen. If that doesn't happen, the Jacksonville defense has little hope to slow the potent Buffalo attack.