Bills' Allen and Peterman played well in the preseason win over Cleveland

AJ McCarron got hurt and could be out of the quarterback competition

Paul Hamilton
August 18, 2018 - 12:45 am

Photo: Ken Blaze - USA TODAY Sports


(WGR 550) - When it comes to the Bills quarterbacks, Josh Allen and Nathan Peterman showed very well in Buffalo’s preseason victory over Cleveland.

AJ McCarron led the first four Buffalo drives of the night and went three-and-out in all four of them.

The Buffalo News is reporting that McCarron suffered a hairline fracture of his right collarbone. All Sean McDermott would say is his quarterback hurt his right shoulder.

During his four drives, McCarron was hit a lot and completed just 3-of-6 passes for 12 yards. It seemed, to me, like when he did have time to throw the ball, he didn’t want to because he was afraid of a mistake.

That was evident on a third down where he had both Zay Jones and Jeremy Kerley open coming across the field for a first down, but he just looked at them and decided to run. He was afraid he might get intercepted.

Allen was certainly up to the challenge of playing with the first-team offense. They were all out there except for LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay. By this time in the second quarter, Cleveland had taken its first-team defense off the field, but I don’t think it matters.

Allen led three drives and scored on all three of them. The first was an extremely impressive 15-play, 80-yard drive that ate up 11:05 off the clock. I just think that needs to be emphasized, Allen put together a drive that took up most of the second quarter!

One of the things I’ve liked about Allen in the preseason is he doesn’t get flustered. On his second play, the play didn’t get communicated to him fast enough, but he kept his wits and called a timeout.

In the whole 15-play drive, the Bills only had to convert two third downs, and one was a gift when the Browns linebacker Gerald Avery got called for illegal use of hands.

Allen converted a 3rd-and-2 from the Bills' 28-yard line, hitting Andre Holmes for seven yards.

The Bills mixed in a short passing game, which saw Allen complete passes to tight end Khari Lee three times.

Marcus Murphy helped the cause with four carries for 39 yards. Chris Ivory ran the ball twice for six yards.

The touchdown came from the two-yard line and Allen couldn’t have played it any better. The QB sidestepped the rush and stepped up in the pocket. By this time, Rod Streater was coming across the back of the end zone and Allen found him for the score.

Before half time, Murphy returned a punt 39 yards to the Browns' 41-yard line. The running back had broken into the clear, but got tripped up by the last possible Brown.

Allen did some scrambling in this drive and, quite honestly, showed some elusiveness. He got the ball to the 15 with seven seconds left in the half. McDermott didn’t want to chance one more play and kicked a field goal. It’s preseason, I don’t understand why the head coach goes conservative there. Yes, Buffalo is out of timeouts, but wouldn’t it help the kid’s development to run a quick play to the end zone. If time happens to run out, who cares? It's preseason and he would have some valuable experience.

Allen got the first drive of the second half and had good field position at the Buffalo 44-yard line.

Two runs and three passes got the ball into Browns territory which set up a 53-yard Stephen Hauschka field goal.

Allen ended 9-of-13 for 60 yards and a score. Probably the biggest mistake I thought he made was right before the half when he scrambled for six yards and a first down. He cut the play up field instead of heading for the sideline. He had to spike the ball and the Bills lost valuable seconds and probably one more crack at the end zone.

In two games, I’ve just really liked the poise of this rookie. He seems OK with staying within himself, which was evident on the 11-minute drive.

As I do every week, it needs to be pointed out that neither team game planned for this game and preseason can fool you.

Peterman did a very nice job of bringing the Bills back after they fell behind. Peterman missed his first two passes and then completed 8-of-8 for 113 yards and a 35-yard touchdown to Nick O’Leary.

That drive went 75 yards after the Browns had taken a four-point lead. Early in the drive, Peterman had hooked up with O’Leary for a 29-yard gain.

I have been reading a lot about O’Leary this week that he’s falling behind Clay, Lee and Jason Croom on the depth chart. The one thing I’ll say about O’Leary is he’s a gamer. It just seems like when a play needs to be made, the Bills quarterbacks look for him.

If the report on McCarron is correct, he will miss some time. Both Peterman and Allen have played well in the two preseason games. Allen has seemed OK with everything that has been thrown at him, but the one thing that hasn’t been thrown at him is a game plan.

It’ll be fun to see how this progresses.

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