The Buffalo Bills completed another perfect preseason Saturday with a 19-0 shutout win against the Green Bay Packers. The first string, including QB Josh Allen, made their first game appearance of the summer, and they ultimately played out an entire half of football. And it was certainly an impressive half, going up against the Packers’ backups. The Bills scored two touchdowns and punted once on three drives. Their defense held the Packers scoreless in the first half (as well as the second half after rotating in their own backups).
Highlight plays included Allen’s 31-yard touchdown to Gabriel Davis on a 3rd-and-20, Tre’Davious White’s end zone pass breakup on a 4th-and-goal, and A.J. Epenesa’s QB pressure leading to a Micah Hyde interception in the second quarter.
At this point, the Bills can confidently say they’ve shaken off the rust and finished tuning up for a Super Bowl run. Their roster thoroughly dominated three NFC North opponents, 76-30, and that was with their starters sitting out almost the entire preseason.
Next stop: The Pittsburgh Steelers, in Orchard Park, on September 12.
- OL jack-of-all-trades Ryan Bates (hand) was helped off the field and to the locker room in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t clear what was ailing Bates, and he later returned to the sidelines to finish out the game.
- DT Brandon Bryant (concussion) was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter and could not return.
- WR Marquez “Speedy” Stevenson (head) was taken to the locker room for evaluation in the closing minutes of the game.
- Gabriel Davis is the best WR4 in the NFL, and could probably be a starter on half the teams in the league. He showed that by dominating the Packers’ backups to the tune of five catches, 75 yards, and a touchdown in the first half.
- Interesting scheme note: Matt Breida took a few jet-sweep crosser plays that are usually used with Isaiah McKenzie (shoulder injury). Seems like Breida is the backup to McKenzie here, or possibly even getting a few plays of his own.
- Another scheme note: The Bills were spotted rolling out an all-DE lineup of Rousseau-Basham-Johnson-Epenesa on the field, as well as Addison-Basham-Johnson-Epenesa.
- Brandon Beane had oodles of praise for DT Justin Zimmer. He was still playing in the final minutes of the game, but did come away with a sack at the end of the game. A potential roster lock?
- Marquez Stevenson certainly played well enough to deserve a roster spot this preseason. He caught both of his targets for 15 yards today, and had an 18-yard punt return among his return opportunities today.
- The backup safety competition continues to be tight. Josh Thomas had four tackles and a sack, while Damar Hamlin had a picturesque pass breakup.
- At cornerback, Cam Lewis was given the starting opportunity amid a rash of injuries, but gave up a few easy completions on the day. That does create an outside chance for UDFA rookie Nick McCloud, who had an interception last week.
- Greg Rousseau was officially the “starter” today in a game featuring the full defensive roster, playing across from Jerry Hughes. He only recorded a single tackle, but had a couple QB pressures as well. It seems like the Bills are ready for him to be the day-one starter against the Steelers.
- The Bills continued a reign of preseason dominance that now dates back eight consecutive games, to the 2018 season. At this rate they may give the Baltimore Ravens a run for their money.