Traditionally, NFL teams view the third preseason game as their “dress rehearsal contest,” with the starters typically receiving their largest share of playing time during the preseason as the competition for a roster spot ramps up.
When the Buffalo Bills (2-0) travel to Ford Field to face the Detroit Lions (0-2) at 8 p.m. Friday night, not only will both coaching staffs be paying close attention as the two squads work on whittling down their respective rosters to 53—a national audience will get to watch, too, as the contest will be broadcast around the country.
One player who has already been ruled out of the third preseason game is Buffalo center Mitch Morse, who is still in the concussion protocol but has been a full participant in practice this week.
Through two games, Buffalo’s starting defense has dominated (albeit against backup quarterbacks since both Andrew Luck and Cam Newton were held out of their respective preseason clashes).
Quarterback Josh Allen completed 9-of-11 passes for 102 yards and displayed his chemistry with Cole Beasley (five receptions over two series) during a 27-14 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. Both of Allen’s drives led to points (a 30-yard field goal from Stephen Hauschka and a one-yard touchdown run from LeSean McCoy), and Allen will look to build upon that showing in Week 3.
It isn’t yet known how many reps Buffalo’s starters will receive vs. the Lions, but based on how McDermott has treated the third preseason game during his first two seasons with the Bills, it is reasonable to think the first-team offense and defense could remain on the field into the second half.
“We’re just going to take it one series at a time right now,’’ McDermott said “They’ll definitely play more than they played against Carolina. We’ll just take it one series at a time.’’
Here’s everything you need to know about in order to watch and/or listen to the game.
Date: Friday, August 23, 2019
Time: 8 p.m. Eastern
Channel: CBS is carrying the game nationally, including on the following stations around New York: Buffalo, NY: WKBW 7; Rochester, NY: WROC 8; Syracuse, NY: WSYR 9; Binghamton, NY: WBGH 34; Utica, NY: WPNY 11; Elmira, NY: WETM 18; Watertown, NY: WWTI 50; Erie, PA: WJET 24; Albany, NY: WXXA 23.
Announcers: Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst), Melanie Collins (sideline reporter)
Location: Ford Field | Detroit, Michigan
NFL Network replay: Saturday, August 24 at 2:00 AM ET
Radio: WGR 550AM (Buffalo); WCMF 96.5 FM and WROC 950 AM (Rochester); Fan 590 AM (Toronto); WTKW 99.5 FM and WKTV 105.5 FM (Syracuse)
Radio Play-by-Play: John Murphy and Eric Wood in the booth with sideline reporter Sal Capaccio.
Twitter: Follow @BuffRumblings for complete Bills coverage on Twitter before, during, and after every game.
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Bills 2019 preseason schedule
Week 1: Buffalo Bills 24, Indianapolis Colts 16
Week 2: Buffalo Bills 27, Carolina Panthers 14
Week 3: at Detroit Lions; Friday, Aug 23, 8 p.m. ET
Week 4: vs Minnesota Vikings; Thu, Aug 29, 7 p.m. ET