CHARLOTTE, NC — It was certainly a successful trip to Carolina for Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen -- and that might be putting it lightly. Sure, it was just a few joint practices and a preseason game against a diet version of the Panthers defense. But Allen showed poise and made progress as the week moved along -- and at this point, that's all the Bills can hope for.
Josh Allen: 9-11 102yards and led 2 scoring drivespic.twitter.com/wP2K2YPqtP— Breyon (@bre_88) August 16, 2019
After a few steady days of practice, Allen shined in the Bills second preseason game, completing 9 of 11 passes attempted for 102 yards. His day included two pretty passes to tight end, Tommy Sweeney for 47 yards. The first completion was floated perfectly over a defender, dropping right into Sweeney's breadbasket. On the next drive, Allen and the rookie tight end connect again -- this time on a laser up the seam. The completion set up the eventual one-yard touchdown from running back LeSean McCoy.
"Tommy has been fantastic. He's answered when his number has been called and obviously he's been forced into a lot of action with the starters and he's made some big plays for us already," Allen said after practice. "He comes to work every day ready to learn, ready to work, he doesn't complain, he just puts his head down and goes so I really appreciate what he's been doing and the results are showing for us."
Although Sweeney finished with the most receiving yards of the starters, Cole Beasley had the busiest day. It's obvious how much chemistry Allen has with the first-year Bill. On Friday Beasley caught five passes for 44 yards. Keep in mind, all five completions came in the first quarter. PPR fantasy owners everywhere should take notice. When the play breaks down, Allen looks for Beasley. When the Bills need a first down, Allen looks for Beasley. And when the roosters are crowing in the pasture, Allen looks for Beasley.
5 quick catches for Cole Beasley in the first two drives. Josh Allen looking to get rid of the ball quickly pic.twitter.com/BQbAbckgSl— Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF) August 16, 2019
"It's like high school football for me again," Cole Beasley told reporters after the game. "It's the most fun I've had since then. I'm just having a blast just playing football with these guys."
As for the running game, McCoy, who made his preseason debut was underwhelming despite finding the endzone. McCoy finished with just six yards on four attempts along with two receptions for 11 yards. It wasn't an ideal start for McCoy but it's also an incredibly small sample size. Behind McCoy, TJ Yeldon rebounded after a rough first game with seven carries for 26 yards and one catch for 10 yards. Senorise Perry, who like Yeldon is fighting for a roster spot, fumbled his only rushing attempt after a three-yard gain. Not great, Bob!
On defense, Kevin Johnson made the biggest play of the evening, intercepting a pass from Will Grier and returning it 71 yards for a touchdown. Bills defensive end Trent Murphy added a sack as the Bills held the Panthers scoreless until the final minutes of the first half.
Cowboys Jerry Jones sure showed Cole Beasley what's what.— John Tharp (@JohnPTharp) August 17, 2019
Bills Panthers 1Q
- Josh Allen 9/11 102 yards
- Beasley 5 catches - 5 targets 44 yards
- Tommy Sweeney 2 catches 47 yards
Buffalo Carolina pic.twitter.com/x0pm6RW5X1
Overall, it was another solid outing for the Bills who improve to 2-0 to start the preseason. Next up - the Detroit Lions, who will host the Bills on Friday, August 23 at 8:00 p.m.