Well the “dress rehearsal” game that was supposed to be the closest simulation to regular season action went about as well as the first time kindergartners try to learn the words “Down by the Bay” for Moving Up Day; a total shit show. The Buffalo Bills offensive line looked like they had never stood next to each other in their lives. They gave up 5 sacks in the first half and that number could have been doubled if Josh Allen hadn’t slipped out of a few. The national media is going to harp on Allen’s performance and try to bury him, just check out ESPN’s front page:
But, anyone that watched the game would know that the struggles lay at the feet of the O-line. Allen had no time to make his reads, and consistently had his own lineman pushed into his lap. We knew that it would be difficult to replace Pro Bowl talent like Wood, Incognito, and Glenn, but this could shape up to derail the entire season.
Speaking of Allen, his stat line isn’t going to wow anyone, 6 completions on 12 attempts for 34 yards, and coupled with the protection issues there wasn’t much to analyze. He had a bad under throw that should have been intercepted, but his receivers also had a few tough drops. Allen’s head hit the turf hard toward the end of the first half and he was evaluated for a concussion but luckily was cleared.
Nathan Peterman played the second half, and even though it was against Cincinnati’s second string, continued to impress. Peterman completed 16 of 21 passes for 200 yards and a TD, and was one of the only reasons the second half of this game was watchable. I’d say Peterman is the safe money bet to be the starting QB week 1.
Other Notes – Marcus Murphy cemented his spot on the roster and in my opinion should be the number 2 behind McCoy. To be fair, Chris Ivory had a few nice runs, but Murphy has the ability to make people miss and break off some big runs, something Ivory won’t do. Tight End Jason Croom also made a few nice catches and hauled in a touchdown. With 6 TEs on the roster, this might have been enough for him to make the cut.