Photo: Ken Blaze - USA TODAY Sports

Bills beat Cleveland 19-17, McCarron injured in the win

A.J. McCarron suffers a hairline fracture of his collarbone in first quarter against the Browns

August 17, 2018 - 8:13 pm

The Buffalo Bills grabbed their first win of the preseason on Friday night, earning a 19-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

Once again, the question heading into this week's preseason matchup was, who would earn the first chance to start with the first-team offense? One week after playing with the second-team unit against the Carolina Panthers, A.J. McCarron got the start under center for the Bills. 

Defensive end Trent Murphy and wide receiver Brandon Reilly sat out due to injury on Friday. Reilly was injured last week against Carolina, while Murphy has had a nagging groin injury throughout camp. 

The Bills offense went to work first under McCarron, but ended up going three-and-out. McCarron was 1-of-2 for -1-yards on his first drive of the game.

The Browns responded with a lengthy drive, dominating on the ground for 63 yards of the 70-yard scoring drive. The Browns took the first lead of the game, as running back Carlos Hyde capped off the drive with a four-yard touchdown run.

Unfortunately, McCarron and the Bills suffered another three-and-out on offense with the drive ending in a third down sack. The Bills' starting defense forced a three-and-out of the Browns offense under Tyrod Taylor, but the offense then had to start their next drive at their own three-yard line.

McCarron and the starting offense, however, could not get out of their own way, as the first quarter ended with two more three-and-out drives. However, with the help of the defense, the Bills only trailed the Browns 7-0.

The Browns had a promising drive derailed after a pair of offensive pass interference penalties backed the Browns up. It led to rookie quarterback Josh Allen coming in to the game for McCarron and getting a series with the first-team offense. McCarron's day ended with him going 3-of-6 for only 12 yards. It was later revealed that McCarron ended up leaving the game with a shoulder injury. 


Allen and the first-team offense found some success, driving down the field with a combination of some solid passes by the rookie and some big plays from running back Marcus Murphy. The Bills were able to cap off the drive with a two-yard touchdown pass from Allen to wide receiver Rod Streater to tie the game at 7-7.

After the defense forced another three-and-out with Browns rookie Baker Mayfield at the helm, Marcus Murphy got a huge 39-yard punt return to set the Bills up with a two-minute drive. It wound up ending with a 33-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka to give the Bills a 10-7 lead to end the first half. Allen went 6-of-10 for 41 yards and a touchdown in the first half. 

At the start of the second half, the Bills forced Mayfield into another three-and-out, with a sack from defensive end Terrence Fede helping sink the drive.

Allen got to start the second half under center for the Bills, and responded with another scoring drive to put the Bills up by six. This drive ended with a 53-yard field goal by Hauschka to make the score 13-7. 

Buffalo's defense forced another three-and-out with Mayfield at quarterback for Cleveland, leading to Nathan Peterman's turn to come in for the Bills. Peterman's start to the game was rough, missing on his first pass and taking a sack on a three-and-out drive. 

The Bills defense finally surrendered a scoring drive to Mayfield and the Browns, but only allowed a field goal, which cut the Bills' lead to 13-10.

Buffalo ended the third quarter with the lead, but Cleveland responded with a touchdown run from rookie running back Nick Chubb from one-yard out to give the Browns the lead. 

The Buffalo offense finally got a first down from a quarterback not named Allen after Peterman hit tight end Nick O'Leary for a 29-yard gain. Peterman would later connect with O'Leary again to end the drive with a 35-yard touchdown to retake the lead. However, Tyler Davis missed the extra-point, making it a 19-17 Bills lead.

The Bills forced another three-and-out as Drew Stanton checked in under center for Cleveland. However, Tyler Davis wound up missing another kick, pushing a 45-yard field goal to the left. 

After another three and out forced by the Buffalo defense, Peterman and the Buffalo offense closed the game out with a lengthy drive, ending in Peterman kneeling the clock out to seal the game.

After the game, it was reported that McCarron had suffered a hairline fracture of his collarbone.

One other injury of note was to veteran defensive tackle, Kyle Williams, who left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. Williams had his knee rolled up on earlier in the game, but was able to gingerly walk off the field with trainers by his side.


First Quarter:

  • 7-0 BROWNS (9:16) - Browns touchdown - Carlos Hyde 4-yard touchdown run
    • Drive info: 9 plays, 70 yards, 4:26

Second Quarter: 

  • 7-7 TIE (3:55) - Bills touchdown - Josh Allen 2-yard touchdown pass to Rod Streater
    • Drive info: 15 plays, 80 yards, 7:52
  • 10-7 BILLS (0:03) - Bills field goal - 33-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka
    • Drive info: 8 plays, 26 yards, 1:37 

Third Quarter: 

  • 13-7 BILLS (10:51) - Bills field goal - 53-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka
    • Drive info: 6 plays, 21 yards, 3:00
  • 13-10 BILLS (2:16) - Browns field goal - 30-yard field goal by Ross Martin 
    • Drive info: 11 plays, 51 yards, 5:40

Fourth Quarter: 

  • 17-13 BROWNS (12:33) - Browns touchdowns - Nick Chubb 1-yard touchdown run
    • Drive info: 9 plays, 65 yards, 2:59
  • 19-17 BILLS (9:02) - Bills touchdown - Nathan Peterman 35-yard touchdown pass to Nick O'Leary (missed extra-point) 
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 75 yards, 3:24




Buffalo Bills:

Nathan Peterman: 8-of-10, 113, 1 TD

Josh Allen: 9-of-13, 60 yards, 1 TD

AJ McCarron: 3-of-6, 12 yards 

Cleveland Browns:

Baker Mayfield: 7-of-13, 75 yards 

Tyrod Taylor: 4-of-7, 22 yards

Drew Stanton: 0-of-4, 0 yards 


Buffalo Bills:

Marcus Murphy: 4 carries, 39 yards

Keith Ford: 9 carries, 23 yards 

Josh Allen: 3 carries, 18 yards

LeSean McCoy: 4 carries, 11 yards

Cleveland Browns:

Carlos Hyde: 9 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD

Nick Chubb: 11 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD

Duke Johnson Jr: 4 carries, 27 yards 



Buffalo Bills:

Nick O'Leary: 4 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD

Austin Proehl: 2 receptions, 26 yards 

Khari Lee: 3 receptions, 24 yards

Ray-Ray McCloud: 1 reception, 12 yards

Rod Streater: 2 receptions, 10 yards, 1 TD

Cleveland Browns:

Da'Mari Scott: 2 receptions, 31 yards

Devon Cajuste: 1 reception, 26 yards

Rashard Higgins: 2 receptions, 20 yards



Buffalo Bills:

Jordan Poyer: 6 tackles

Tremaine Edmunds: 5 tackles 

Terrence Fede: 3 tackles, 1 sack

Siran Neal: 2 tackles, 1 sack 

Cleveland Browns:

James Bargess Jr: 5 tackles, 0.5 sack

Jamie Collins: 4 tackles  

Larry Ogjunobi: 2 tackles, 1 sack 

Total Yards:

Bills: 285
Browns: 247

Passing Yards:

Bills: 172
Browns: 83

Rushing Yards:

Bills: 113
Browns: 164

First Downs:

Bills: 16
Browns: 17


Bills: 9 for 63 yards
Browns: 7 for 70 yards

Time of Possession:

Bills: 32:51
Browns: 27:09

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