The Buffalo Bills starters are on the bench and with the second-teamers in, it’s time for some opinions on the first live game action of 2019!
Offense comes out firing
Eight straight pass plays began the game but Josh Allen was only 2-of-5 with a scrambling first down. That completion percentage was indicative of Allen’s throws; deep passes taking chunks out of the defense and underneath throws mixed in. He also had some bad throws mixed in.
Allen went deep to Tommy Sweeney on the first play and took deep shots to Zay Jones and John Brown that all couldn’t land. He did find Cole Beasley underneath and Jones and Beasley on passes later on in the team’s second series.
This was Allen’s worst pass on the night. Clean pocket, open receiver, short drop, low and outside.
Placement was off to Zay here. Tight coverage but Zay separated at the top. Gotta connect/ pic.twitter.com/o0a5s8zWsq— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) August 8, 2019
Allen finished 6-of-11 for 66 yards and a pass that Jones missed over the middle for a could-be touchdown. He also had that one rush for eight yards on 3rd and 6. Not great, but not terrible.
Defense steps up
The Indianapolis Colts were playing with a bunch of second teamers, but the Bills’ defensive line still looked good. Ed Oliver was head-to-head with stud offensive lineman Quenton Nelson and was a problem, taking on a double team and flushing Jacoby Brissett in consecutive snaps.
#Bills 9th overall pick Ed Oliver takes the double team, holds his spot and helps stuff the run. Not too shabby for an "undersized" DT going against an All-Pro guard in Nelson. pic.twitter.com/PZONxLquJZ— Greg Vorse TV (@GregVorse) August 8, 2019
Shaq Lawson was excellent in run defense, as well, starting in place of Jerry Hughes who was a healthy scratch. Trent Murphy even got into the backfield on a pass play.
The Bills allowed one pass play for 20 yards on a catch and run, but locked it down other than that. They forced two punts on the first two drives.
Zay Jones could be out for a while
Bills wide receiver Zay Jones was targeted five times by Josh Allen on 11 passes but his last snap didn’t end well. On a pass over the middle of the field, Allen threw it to him but Jones missed the catch and then was struck in the head by a Colts safety as Jones was falling to the turf. He immediately grabbed his neck area. While he popped up, he was immediately removed from the game and went to the medical tent for several minutes, before walking to the locker room before the end of the first quarter.
It looks like a problem that could linger whether it’s a neck injury or he’s in the concussion protocol.
Editor’s note: he returned to the sideline in the second quarter with his helmet on, which is great news.
Frank Gore, man
Listen, I’m 35. Frank Gore is older than me. My knees hurt when I run a couple miles. Gore just keeps pounding. Two rushes, seven yards. All he does is fall forward for more yards. Gore got the start in place of LeSean McCoy, who is going to start in the second preseason game according to Sean McDermott.
Cole Beasley is the safety blanket we wanted
He only had one catch for 13 yards on the stat sheet, but he also had one reception erased by a penalty. Allen was looking for his Papa Smurf a few times when he needed a bailout. That reception was on 2nd and 19. Allen picked up a first down with his legs on the next play.