The Buffalo Bills took the field for the first time during the 2019 preseason on Thursday night. There were ups and downs, but here are the things I found most interesting.
Note: I wrote an entire article on just the starters if you want to read that, as well.
Running back rotation interesting
Sean McDermott said LeSean McCoy wasn’t going to get any carries in the preseason opener, and that turned out to be the case. Frank Gore got the start followed by a heavy dose of Devin Singletary. After that, T.J. Yeldon was the next man up but after his fumble, he was benched. It wasn’t Marcus Murphy, who was on Buffalo’s roster in 2018, but Senorise Perry who was the next man through. Christian Wade scored a touchdown on his first touch on a football field! If Perry is getting tons of special-teams snaps and is ahead of Murphy on the depth chart, how does Murphy make the roster?
If McDermott’s plan holds true, Gore will be held out in Week 2 next week with Shady being the first man through.
Singletary showed nice hands out of the backfield, adding a team-leading three catches to his rushing stats. He finished with 48 total yards on 12 touches.
Bills defensive linemen playing well
Darryl Johnson and Eddie Yarbrough both had sacks. Ed Oliver, Shaq Lawson, and Star Lotulelei were stout against the run. Trent Murphy even had a nice pass rush that didn’t quite land for a sack as did Mike Love. That’s the kind of defensive-line play Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier want to see on down the line.
Quarterbacks are as expected
Josh Allen was a little off target, but continued his aggressive tendencies. He just missed on a couple deep passes, but he took the shots. Matt Barkley was solid, finding Cam Phillips for a touchdown and being judicious with the ball. Tyree Jackson had some really nice passes and has a ton of arm strength but he struggled reading the defense from time to time and took some big shots. The three QBs each moved the ball well. All in all, it was a successful night for all three QBs, even if you wanted to see a little bit more from the starter.
Sigh of relief
When Zay Jones took that big hit over the middle just short of the goal line, I thought he was going to be out for a while. He came up grabbing his neck and he very well could have been in the concussion protocol. But it was a false alarm. He went to the medical tent then went to the locker room, but he came out in the second quarter with his helmet on.
From what we know right now, no Bills player suffered a serious injury. That’s the best news to come out of a preseason game.
Are we really going to keep playing four of these?
At 9:37 p.m. Eastern, 150 minutes after the game began, there was still an entire quarter to play. Anthony Marino asked for running clock. Matt Byham advocated for ten-minutes quarters in the preseason.
They showed Kyle Peko huffing and puffing in the fourth quarter because the guys at the bottom of the roster are getting all the reps without shuttling in fresh reserves.
NFL Insider Andrew Brandt is almost certain a new Collective Bargaining Agreement will have fewer preseason games and more regular season games. I think we would welcome fewer preseason snaps, at least.
* Cory Carter whooped Corey Bojorquez tonight in the punting battle.
* I like watching Cody Ford and Ty Nsehke together on the right side. They are studs.
* Ed Oliver is good.
* That Christian Wade moment was great.
* So. Many. Challenges.
* Don't get too excited, but there was a lot to like.