Josh Allen played one of the best games of his career with a heavy heart, but almost no one knew that until after the Bills quarterback had beaten the Seahawks.
Allen’s grandmother died Saturday night, less than 24 hours before Buffalo hosted Seattle. Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced the news following the Bills’ 44-34 win, in which Allen threw for 415 yards and scored four total touchdowns. To show their support for Allen, the Buffalo fanbase (known as Bills Mafia) began donating to Oishei Children’s Hospital, which Allen has supported in Buffalo.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 10,000 people have donated, with the amount totaling more than $200,000, according to the hospital. Fans were encouraged to donate in increments of $17, because Allen wears No. 17.
“At a loss for words,” Allen wrote on Twitter on Monday. “Buffalo, I love you.”
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After Sunday’s game, McDermott said that the team had not been informed about Allen’s grandmother’s death. The head coach knew, as did offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
Despite the news, Allen greatly outplayed Russell Wilson and reaffirmed his place as a dark-horse MVP candidate. Allen’s 415 yards passing tied his career-high, which he set earlier this season.
“For Josh to be able to do that and compartmentalize that for a few hours like he was able to do, I think just shows you his maturity, his willingness to compete at a high level,” McDermott told reporters Sunday. “It’s just the guy we know.”
Allen has worked “multiple times” in the past with Oishei Children’s Hospital, according to ESPN. Most recently, grocery chain Wegmans released a cereal called “Josh’s Jaqs,” of which some of the proceeds were sent to benefit the hospital.
Oishei Children’s Hospital sent its sympathies to Allen via Twitter, and it has kept track of incoming donations with consistent updates at its handle, @OCHBuffalo. The donation page can be found here.
“The donations made to OCH in honor of my grandmother would make her so proud,” Allen said via the NFL’s official Twitter page. “Thank you Bills Mafia! It is an honor to be your quarterback.”