Bills' Duke Williams gets work with Josh Allen

August 24, 2019

(WGR 550) - The Bills had some good moments in their preseason win over Detroit and some really bad ones too.

I was so glad to see Duke Williams get first team reps in the first quarter with Josh Allen. Allen never threw him a pass, but Williams had some very good blocks, springing Frank Gore on a 27-yard run and running his man five yards deep into the end zone on Devin Singletary’s nine-yard touchdown run.

I have been very impressed with the former CFL receiver, but I didn’t think he could move up the depth chart without seeing time with the first-team unit. Williams took reps away from Zay Jones. I have not been the least bit impressed with Ray-Ray McCloud, despite everybody raving about him through training camp.

Later, when Matt Barkley was in, Williams used every bit of his size and strength to catch his second touchdown of the preseason. In three games, Williams has shown me that the Bills really could use his size, blocking and pass catching ability. He seems very good at using his body to shield defenders from the ball.

Isaiah McKenzie scored on a six-yard sweep and, in my mind, he should make this team long before McCloud does. McKenzie scored on two of those sweeps in the seven games he played with the Bills last season and is a better return man.

Gore and LeSean McCoy played most of the first half with Singletary only getting one touch all night long, but it was for the touchdown.

Gore had 57 yards on eight carries, while McCoy had 37 yards and six attempts. McCoy had two extended runs called back by penalties.

The Bills were very sloppy in this game, especially the first-team offense.

Josh Allen was awful. He threw a ball across his body and off balance as he was being chased out of bounds instead of throwing it away. It was easily intercepted, but the Lions bailed Allen out thanks to a roughing the passer penalty.

He also was running and not sliding in a preseason game that means nothing. Allen was not, at all, mentally sharp in, what could be, his last playing time before opening day. Allen was 3-of-6 for 49 yards. He was 0-for-3 on third down efficiency and the team had six penalties by halftime. On his first two third down throws, Allen was way off.

Cole Beasley caught one of the few decent passes that Allen threw, but proceeded to fumble, giving Detroit the ball on the Buffalo 27-yard line. The defense held the Lions to a field goal.

Victor Bolden fumbled a kickoff at the Bills' 19-yard line, but the defense didn’t give up anything holding Detroit on downs. Pressure by Jordan Philips and Trent Murphy helped on the fourth down play.

Shaq Lawson also had a sack as he started for Jerry Hughes.

The first half was plain and simply ugly for many starters, who likely won’t play next week, yet Buffalo led at the half 14-13.

The No. 1 defense gave up some plays, but held Detroit to 0-for-7 on third down and gave up three points on two short fields.

I want to mention that every time I’ve seem Matt Barkley play as a Bill, I’ve been impressed. The backup quarterback was 12-of-14 for 142 yards and a score. In three games, he’s 29-of-38 for 378 yards and three touchdowns.

Last year, he come in off the street, went into New Jersey and beat the Jets 41-10. In that game, he was 15-of-25 for 232 yards and two scores. I’m very comfortable with Barkley backing up Allen.

The Bills are 3-0 in the preseason, which means absolutely nothing. However, in all three games, there was more football to like than not to like, especially from the defense.