4 observations: Bills win season opener

ORCHARD PARK, NY (WIVB) — The Bills defeated the Colts on Saturday, 23-19 at Highmark Stadium. As expected, Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs didn’t play in the first game of preseason, but most of the starters were on the field. Here are my 4 observations on the Bills’ win over the Colts.

Who is #2?

When Kyle Allen went into training camp, he seemed like the clear replacement for Josh Allen, but Kyle struggled a bit in training camp and didn’t do particularly well in the first half of the Colts game. After Matt Barkley took over offense in the second half, things looked a lot better on offense. Barkley finished 14/15 for 172 yards and 2 passing touchdowns. Kyle Allen looked like a player still trying to work his way through the mental side of offense, and Barkley looked like a player who had been in the Bills system for several seasons. After the game, Sean McDermott said the backup quarterback job was open competition, something most didn’t think was possible when Kyle Allen signed with Buffalo this season.

Rookies make their NFL debut

The Bills’ starting offensive line was on the field for several series early in the game, including rookie O’Cyrus Torrence. The second-round pick is battling with Ryan Bates for the starting spot and has held up well in his NFL debut. Torrence looked strong in both pass defense and running play. Bates didn’t play on the right flank, instead coming in as a center for Mitch Morse. At the start of the game, the offensive lined up Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox with twelve players. The pair of tight ends, along with Trent Sherfield, made some nice blocks to carry running back James Cook up for a touchdown run. Kincaid and Knox weren’t on the field long and neither player was tackled with a pass.

Hamlin, on the other hand, is effective

Damar Hamlin not only cleared one major hurdle; he ran straight through. The safety returned to the action and was involved almost immediately. Hamlin came into play on the Colts’ second drive. Hamlin completed a tackle in the fourth and short pass to force a turnover on downs. He had two more tackles on the next drive. After the game, Hamlin said he felt all the emotions at once and will continue to do so next week when he returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh.

A few final notes

Sean McDermott said offensive player Tommy Doyle injured the same knee last year that required cruciate ligament surgery. Doyle left the game in the third quarter. McDermott has won 10 of his last 11 preseason games. I thought Colts QB Anthony Richardson looked pretty good on his debut. He showed arm strength on several plays and looked very athletic coming out of the pocket. Former Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie returned to Buffalo. Before the game, he was greeted by several Bills players and staff. McKenzie had three catches for 20 yards, and after that, Sean McDermott laughed and told reporters that McKenzie “visited the locker room just before the game.” It’s not really standard practice in the NFL … but I think it’s typical of him. We all love him.”

Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as Sports Director of News 4 since 2015. More information can be found here.

Tom Vazquez

Tom Vazquez is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Tom Vazquez joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Tom Vazquez by emailing tomvazquez@ustimetoday.com.

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