One week after picking up their first win of the preseason against the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills welcomed the other Ohio-based NFL team to New Era Field in Week 3 of the preseason and suffered a disheartening 26-13 setback to the Cincinnati Bengals.
On the latest edition of the Buffalo Rumblings Podcast, co-hosts John Boccacino and Anthony Marino offered up their thoughts on what they liked and what they didn’t like from the loss to the Bengals, while trying to maintain perspective after the Bills’ lackluster effort on Kids Day.
If you came to the Bills’ dress rehearsal preseason game late, consider yourself lucky, because you didn’t miss much from the sputtering Buffalo offense.
The first-team unit struggled against an aggressive and talented Bengals’ defensive line, ruining the professional starting debut of prized rookie Josh Allen.
Allen was sacked five times and completed only 6 of 12 passes during a scoreless first half. While Allen failed to direct any scoring drives, it wasn’t all his fault, as he barely had two seconds to search for a receiver downfield on most of his passes due to porous play from the offensive line.
The patchwork offensive line should be a major concern for Bills fans heading into the regular season. The one positive for the first-team offense? The struggles came as Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy and starting left tackle Dion Dawkins were on the sidelines for Week 3 of the preseason, but there is major work to be done in the trenches for the Bills.
The good news? Second-year QB Nathan Peterman continued his strong preseason play as he makes a push to be Buffalo’s regular-season starting quarterback.
Playing behind most of the same offensive line that was pushed around by Cincinnati’s defensive line in the first half, Peterman played the entire second half, completing 16-of-21 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown.
Among the other things Boccacino and Marino liked from the loss: the emergence of tight end Jason Croom, who has played his way into the discussion for the No. 2 tight end job, surpassing Nick O’Leary, Khari Lee, and Keith Towbridge on the depth chart.
Running back Marcus Murphy also continued his strong preseason, rushing 11 times for 58 yards (5.3 yards per rush), while linebacker Tremaine Edmunds was in on seven total tackles, burst through the gaps to make several stops, and held his own in pass coverage.
On the flip side, the duo discussed disappointing performances from the entire offensive line, linebacker Matt Milano, and cornerback Vontae Davis, who was burned on a 57-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to John Ross on the first play of the game. His day didn’t get any better after the opening snap, and now Davis could be in jeopardy of losing his role as starting CB opposite Tre’Davious White.
Check out our Buffalo Rumblings podcast to catch the complete breakdown from Week 3 of the preseason! Listen here. The Buffalo Rumblings podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podbay, Podfanatic, and practically everywhere podcasts are found.
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