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Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals stock up/stock down: Vontae Davis stumbles, Jason Croom soars

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Poor performances by the starters marred some decent play the backups

The Buffalo Bills continued their slate of preseason matchup this past Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was an abysmal showing for both starting units but the backup and third-stringers led a small rally. Buffalo ultimately lost 26-13. Below are the players that stood out, for better or worse.

Stock Down: The starting offensive line (outside of Dion Dawkins)

Dawkins gets a pass here because he was injured, but the Bills offensive line was completely manhandled by the Bengals defensive line. Vlad Ducasse, John Miller and Ryan Groy were taken to the woodshed by Andrew Billings and Geno Atkins, which led to five sacks of rookie quarterback Josh Allen. The tackles held up slightly better, but still managed to get walked back on bull rushes several times. John Miller committed three penalties. Not a good performance by any means.

Stock Up: QB Nathan Peterman

Peterman came into the game in the second half and promptly lead a 10-play, 79-yard drive capped by a 17-yard touchdown to tight end Jason Croom. He ultimately finished the day going 16-of-21 for 200 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Granted, he wasn’t dealing with the Bengals starters, but the second-year quarterback’s day at the office was one of the few positives to take away from the game.

Stock Down: CB Vontae Davis

After Sunday’s game, head coach Sean McDermott essentially declared a competition for the starting cornerback role opposite Tre’Davious White. Given Davis’ struggles against the Bengals, you can see why. During Cincinnati’s first offensive series, receiver John Ross shook the Bills corner on a double-move, resulting in a 57-yard touchdown. Ross again beat the veteran CB on a slant pattern late in the first quarter, but Ross dropped the catch. Davis was eventually benched by the coaching staff.

Stock Up: TE Jason Croom

Croom was a former wide receiver attempting to transition to the tight end position so his development was always going to take some time. He burst on the scene during Sunday’s game with a spectacular 17-yard catch-and-run that resulted in a touchdown. Then, on the very next drive, Croom found himself wide open in the middle of the field off a play-action fake for a 21-yard gain. Those were the tight end’s only catches, but it may be enough to ensure he makes the team.

Stock Down: LB Matt Milano

It wasn’t all bad for the second-year linebacker. He had a nice pass breakup in the red zone in the first quarter and was in position to break up a screen pass early on. His coverage whiff on Joe Mixon lead to a huge gain and eventually a touchdown. With Tremaine Edmunds making some positive steps forward in the game, it was disappointing to not see Milano do the same.