Josh Allen has been a winner on and off the football field, making it no surprise the Buffalo Bills have become the model of consistent success since the franchise drafted him five years ago. Not only have the Bills won the AFC East in consecutive seasons, but Allen has transformed into one of the best quarterbacks in the game. 

The Bills have the second-best record in the NFL since the start of the 2020 season, while Allen's 116 total touchdowns are the most in the NFL over that span. Allen is off to a historic start to his career, as his 163 total touchdowns trail only Dan Marino for the most in a player's first five seasons in NFL history. He's the only player to throw for 125 touchdowns and rush for 25 touchdowns in his first five seasons.

Josh Allen
BUF • QB • #17
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Even more impressive than Allen's performance on the field is what he does off the field. Allen and his family started "The Patricia Allen Fund" in 2020 to provide ongoing support to the pediatric critical care team at the John R. Oishei Children's Hospital in Buffalo. The fund was created in lieu of Allen's grandmother passing away a day before he threw four touchdowns passes in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. Bills fans found out on social media about her passing and proceeded to donate more than $1 million to the hospital (in $17 increments) in fewer than two months.

As part of the "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign for 2022, Allen will wear custom-made cleats inspired by the philanthropy. The Bills quarterback is always looking for ideas to raise money for Oishei, which he will be doing for the third consecutive year through the campaign. 

Here is a preview of the cleats Allen will be wearing in Thursday's game against the New England Patriots. Below is a description of what's on the design. 

Joshua Vides
Joshua Vides
  • On the top are the iconic Oishei Children's Hospital blocks that you'll see at the front of the hospital.
  • The outer side of each cleat has EKG coming in/out of "The Patricia Allen Fund" logo.
  • The inner sides include the signatures of six patients from the hospital, three on each cleat.
  • The back of the cleat includes the 17 logo, for his "Team 17" initiative

"One of the ways we're doing this for this year is through 'My Cause, My Cleats,'" Allen said. "Gillette stepped on board this year, and they found a cool way to incorporate themselves with the community here. They found an artist, Joshua Vides, to design the cleats. They're gonna be auctioned off and Gillette is going to match that donation. It's something I'm really excited to do."

Allen spoke to CBS Sports about the "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign for this year. In addition, Allen discussed Thursday's game with the Patriots, his performance so far, and the Bills' Super Bowl expectations in 2022. 

Let's start with "The Patricia Allen Fund". Crazy how it started two years ago, but how much have Bills fans played a role in the growth of the foundation? 

Allen: "The only reason it's been a thing and is continuing to be a thing is because of Bills fans. Obviously, going back a few years ago, my grandmother passed away. I didn't tell anybody and there were some fans that had found out. I still, to this day, don't know how they figured it out or found out. But people started donating $17 in honor of her memory, and I woke up the next day, got a text, and there was $4,000 to $5,000 raised to Oishei Children's Hospital. 

"Man, I was overcome with joy. Fast forward, we're a couple years in and we raised a couple million dollars. These profits and proceeds go directly to families for these kids that are absolutely in dire need of it. It's such a cool cause to figure out ways to raise money for this."

Was this the first year you had "The Patricia Allen Fund" on the cleats? 

Allen: "I did it last year as well. So this year, I got 'The Patricia Allen Fund' logo on the outside of the shoe. I got the 'Team 17' member logo on the back of the heel. I got a EKG heart monitor. I got a heart on there. On the inside, I got six signatures from kids that are at Oishei or were at Oishei. 

"Again, it's something that's really cool and they came out spectacular. Joshua killed it. I'm so excited to rep them." 

Joshua Vides

The Bills have huge expectations for this year -- and Thursday's game is as big as it gets. What do you notice in preparing for a Bill Belichick defense that's different from other defenses you've faced? 

Allen: "They do such a good job at showing you different looks. They can show you a zone look and play man out of it. They can show you a man look and play zone out of it. There's so many different ways that they can cause you to be a step slower or a second slower, which can be a huge difference. 

"I have to trust the base rules. Trust what my eyes are seeing. If it's going to be a man game, we got to win the one-on-one coverage. If it's going to be a zone game, it's going to be timing and accuracy and ball placement. 

"This is an in-division game. These games are always tough, especially on the road. We just have to try and put our best foot forward and win a football game." 

I'm sure you're tired of hearing this by now. You're in a slump or mini-slump -- whatever the term is now. How does a player of your talent find a way out of it?

Allen: "I just have to trust my teammates. Trust my eyes, make good decisions. All I try to do is to help this team win football games, no matter which way I do it. If I have to turn and hand the ball off 35 times a game or throw it 35 times a game. Whatever is asked for me to do is what I'm willing to do. 

"Sometimes it may not always be pretty. I understand that. The main goal of this game, especially for me, is to win -- in any way we can."

This is the first year the Bills are the favorites to win a Super Bowl. Normally, Buffalo is the underdog. How do you handle these renewed expectations every week? 

Allen: "Our expectations in our locker room are much higher than what anybody else has said or can say about us. We have a goal to win the Super Bowl. That's everyone's goal at the start of the year. Everything that we do inside and outside this building is to try to win a Super Bowl. 

"We got some great leadership and leaders here. Our locker room is fantastic. We got guys that care about each other, care about their jobs, and when you have a group that is collectively fighting for the same thing and they do things the right way -- typically you're going to have success."

How would you evaluate your season so far?

Allen: "We're sitting at 8-3, so everything that we want is still in front of us. Obviously there are plays I wish we had back in a couple key games. The ones that we lost have been by two points, two points and three points. So we're in every game. We just have to continue to find ways to win football games. 

"We'll keep progressing this season and find ways to play our best. That's the game going into the playoffs, but we'll take it one game at a time. Our main goal is to make it into the playoffs." 

Your relationship with Patrick Mahomes, I respect it from afar. What is it about the two of you that just seems to click when your teams face each other? 

Allen: "Mindset, I think we both have the same thing. We both play with a lot of passion, we both love the game of football. We're not, I would say, your conventional quarterbacks -- stand in the pocket and throw it. He's so good at being creative with arm slots and getting out of sacks and finding players downfield. He's so fun to watch. 

"We just have so much fun playing the game and playing it the right way." 

You, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, even Patrick Mahomes run the football and everyone seems to be against it. Why do you think the critics are against that when it works?

Allen: "The No. 1 ability is availability, but sometimes that can happen when you're doing too much. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game. To limit that option, I guess, is not running the ball, but there's times we have to be football players. We gotta find a way to get a first down. Sometimes that requires you to lower your shoulder and try to run through somebody or take off and run.

"Finding ways to not take as many hits and going down is a part of it, too. I really can't tell you why people are so against it." 

What would it mean for you to get the Bills that first Super Bowl title? 

Allen: "That's why I play this game. I don't play for the stats -- or the money for that matter. I play to win football games and be a part of a group that cares about what they do, that are good people, and just want to play for each other and the people around them. 

"That's what we got going on here in Buffalo. I'm super excited and fortunate to be a part of this organization. The city of Buffalo and the fans here, they've been through the ringer. They've been through a lot, and I think this is something they definitely deserve. I'd love to be able to give that to them."