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5 Observations: Bills top Colts 24-16 in first preseason game

Posted: 12:32 AM, Aug 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-09 02:08:35-04
Josh Allen has up and down debut as Bills top Colts

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s not often the Buffalo Bills seventh string running back steals the show. But on Thursday at New Era Field Christian Wade did just that. The former Rugby player from England took his first-ever NFL carry to the house for a 65-yard touchdown.

It was easily the highlight of the evening and a moment Bills fans will never forget. But what else stood out from the Bills debut?

Josh Allen shows progress

Sometimes the numbers don’t tell the entire story. That was the case on Thursday with Bills sophomore QB Josh Allen who finished 6-for-11 with 66 yards. Allen added eight rushing yards on one attempt.

"I am just trying to find a groove and try to get on the same page with some of our new receivers," Allen said after the game. "We got a lot of bullets now and I was excited to get back out there."

Allen added there were a few throws that he would surely want back, specifically a throw he missed to Zay Jones on third down.

Overall, it was a solid debut for Allen. When he ran, he got out of bounds. When he threw, he scanned the field. It wasn’t perfect, but it was progress.

The defense....it’s still good

Last season the defense was the Bills bread and butter. This season it looks like that might once again be the case. During the first 30 minutes the Bills defense was stout, allowing only three points in the final seconds of the first half.

To be fair, the Bills didn't have to line up against normal Colts starting QB Andrew Luck. But they did exactly what they were supposed to do against backup Jacoby Brisset, who finished with two completions for 21 yards.

Slippery Singletary

Bills rookie RB Devin Singletary made quite the impression on Thursday with 27 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards. Singletary finished his preseason debut with 12 touches, all of which came in the first half. With LeSean McCoy on the bench and Frank Gore only getting two carries, Singletary was looked to early and often. Don't be surprised if that continues in the regular season. During training camp, Singletary got plenty of reps with the starters and on Thursday we could see why.

"He has a great feel for it being so young," Gore said about Singletary after the game. "Out of all the guys who got drafted since I've been playing, he's the most natural."

Flashes from Oliver

It didn't take long for Ed Oliver to find himself in the backfield, putting pressure on the quarterback. In his first game at New Era Field, the 2019 first-round pick made some impressive plays against Colts Pro Bowl guard Quenton Nelson. Early on, Nelson had his way with Oliver but as the game progressed Oliver started to have a bit more luck wreaking havoc in the backfield.

"The tape is going to have all the answers," Oliver said when asked about his first NFL game. "I know I'm a long way from where I want to be. I know the biggest room in the house is the room for improvement; so I'm just eager to get better."

Stability is important

It appears the Bills have found their steady backup QB who can sit behind Allen and help the 23-year-old sophomore. On Thursday Barkley looked solid, finishing 9-of-14 for 126 yards and a touchdown. Playing most of the first half, Barkley lead the Bills on two separate scoring drives and floated a pretty pass to a wide-open Cam Phillips in the back of the endzone for the Bills first touchdown of 2019. With plenty of questions