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Buffalo Rumblinks, 8/13: Recapping Buffalo’s preseason win over Colts

The good, the bad, and the ugly from a 23-19 win over the Colts on Kids Day

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NFL: Preseason-Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills returned to Highmark Stadium Saturday afternoon for their 2023 NFL preseason opener, and the Bills held off the Indianapolis Colts 23-19 before a sold-out Kids Day crowd.

In today’s edition of the Buffalo Rumblinks, we break down the good — led by safety Damar Hamlin’s triumphant return to action and a dominant second-half performance from quarterback Matt Barkley — the bad (Kyle Allen’s effort as starting quarterback and Buffalo’s first-half defense allowing the Colts to march up and down the field), and the ugly (too many penalties) from Buffalo’s preseason win.

Observations from Buffalo’s Week 1 preseason win

Do the Bills have a backup QB controversy on their hands? It appears this competition has gotten tighter. Kyle Allen had an erratic performance (8-of-15 for 122 yards with a pick-six interception), numbers that should have been better were it not for several drops and Allen misfiring on a few passes that should have been completions. By comparison, Matt Barkley dominated in the second half, completing 14 of 15 passes for 172 yards with two touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how this battle plays out over the rest of the preseason.

Other players who stood out in a positive way: Cornerback Dane Jackson, who came away with an interception; interior offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence; linebacker Dorian Williams; defensive linemen Boogie Basham and Tim Settle; and wide receivers Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson, Dezmon Patmon and Tyrel Shavers.

Linked below: Key observations and takeaways from Buffalo’s win over Indianapolis, whose stock is rising and whose is falling after Week 1 of the preseason, hear from head coach Sean McDermott on what he liked and didn’t like from the game, and more!

S Damar Hamlin’s triumphant return

In his first time playing a football game since suffering a cardiac arrest incident during a road game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, safety Damar Hamlin made three tackles, including stuffing rookie Evan Hull for no gain on 4th-and-1. It was a successful return for Hamlin, who said he battled nerves before enjoying a fun return to action with the Bills.

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