Bills' Allen provides some excitement in his first NFL game

Josh Allen did some good and bad things in his preseason debut

Paul Hamilton
August 10, 2018 - 10:14 am

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) - When I’m talking about the preseason, I always have to start with this: neither team game planned and Josh Allen was playing with the second and third teams against second and third teamers.

I absolutely love the fact that on Allen’s first play in the NFL, they let him rip it over 60 yards down field. The ball was caught by Robert Foster, but it was off the mark and well out of bounds. Foster had a step on his man and all Allen had to do was throw the ball towards the middle of the field and let Foster run under it. On 3rd-and-4, Austin Proehl dropped the ball and it was three-and-out.

On the first play of his next series, Allen was sacked by Jermaine Carter, who came in untouched. It was a play action pass and after the fake handoff to Keith Ford, he forgot to pick up Carter.

Allen did pick up a first down when he made a nice read and found Kaelin Clay for six yards.

Allen dropped back into the pocket and didn’t bail like many rookies will do. He stepped up and took a hit after he released the ball. The ball made it to Jason Croom for 22 yards to the Carolina 38-yard line.

Carter got caught for lowering his head, giving the Bills a first down at the Panthers' 33-yard line. Allen completed a short pass to Marcus Murphy, but it was the way the ball was delivered that was significant. I’ve noticed in camp that Allen isn’t afraid to lower his arm and sidearm a ball if he has to and he did that to Murphy. The pass was right on the money.

On 3rd-and-13, Allen swung a pass out to Ford to pick up 11, bringing up 4th-and-2. Allen couldn’t get the play called fast enough and had to burn a timeout. It’s the first game, don’t be worried about that right now.

When the ball was snapped, Carter came in untouched again and Allen did something very stupid, but it didn’t cost him. He was trying to avoid a big sack and just threw the ball up in the air as he was going down. The ball was almost intercepted by Deashon Hall.

Allen opened the fourth quarter with a poorly thrown ball, but he has a short memory, later completing a crossing route to Ray-Ray McCloud for 25 yards.

When it comes to running the football, Allen certainly isn’t Tyrod Taylor, but he got out of the pocket and did a good job of picking up eight yards.

On 3rd-and-22, Allen had Foster wide open, but overthrew him at the five-yard line. That is two long TD’s Allen missed with poor passes. To be fair, Steve Tasker pointed out that Foster slowed down because he was looking back for the ball too soon.

Allen got the ball back with 5:05 left to go and got a good chance to get them back into it. Buffalo was down 28-17 and needed points.

The drive started at the Bills' 25-yard line. Foster dropped the first pass. On 3rd-and-11, Allen did a terrific job of spinning out of danger. He picked up 13 yards, but this drive went nowhere and they punted.  

It was 4th-and-5 from the Bills' 42-yard line with three minutes left. Preseason or not, down 11 points, that was a very weak decision by Sean McDermott to punt.

Allen got the ball back with 2:24 left at his own 32. This was a great opportunity for him to run the two-minute offense. The first play was an out to McCloud for 11. Allen had a free play because of a flag and again overthrew an open Foster at the goal line. Foster did quit running halfway through the route and he will not please the coaches with that. I liked that Allen recognized he had a free play.

On 2nd-and-10, Allen was rushed and running backwards he still ripped a pass 38 yards down field to Khari Lee for a first down at the Panthers' 14. It was a gain of 27.

Allen got the offense to the line of scrimmage and threw an absolute bullet to McCloud for a 14-yard touchdown. Allen put the ball in the only place that he could to complete it.

In his first time with the hurry up offense, Allen put together a six-play, 68-yard TD drive in just 1:14.

Allen’s numbers weren’t good, but overall I liked some of what I saw. The kid is confident. The situation wasn’t too big for him. He overthrew Foster more that once which would’ve been long touchdowns, but some of that is Foster’s fault because he slowed down on one and quit on another route before re-engaging.  

It was fun watching Allen and the feel I get from the fans is they had fun watching him too.

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