The legend of Kyle Allen began last year in New Orleans, when he started a throwaway game for the Panthers, and beat a largely disinterested Saints team that had already secured a playoff berth and was resting starters.
But the real surprise was when the Panthers quarterback continued that hot streak into this season, winning his first four starts in relief of Cam Newton.
He’s since come back to Earth, and in what could be worse news for him, he earned the Saints’ attention.
“He played his a– off against us, that’s what I remember,” Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said, via Luke Johnson of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “They, for lack of a better word, embarrassed us. And yeah, that’s not something we forget.”
Allen threw two touchdowns and ran for another in a face-saving win for the Panthers. He has played well at times, but now has more turnovers (14) than touchdowns (10) this season, after teams began to get a look at him.
“He made some big throws (last year) and certainly you have a chance to look at that film,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “But we have so much film from this season that you’re really seeing him in a starter’s role, and that’s kind of how we’re approaching it.”
The Panthers have admitted the “growing pains” of dealing with a young backup, and enduring his recent streak of turnovers (four picks against the Falcons) has certainly been painful.