Many young Bills step up in the preseason opener

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Photo credit Photo: Rich Barnes - USA TODAY Sports
(WGR 550) - There were some good performances in the Bills' first preseason game, but there was one thing I really, really liked. When things got sloppy, Sean McDermott wasn’t having it.

T.J. Yeldon got into the game in the second quarter and on his second carry, he fumbled inside the Indianapolis 20-yard line. The Colts recovered and McDermott just gave Yeldon a disgusted look. As a matter of fact, the head coach was so disgusted, Yeldon never saw the field again.

There was also a false start on guard Vlad Ducasse and on the very offensive next play, he was in the middle of his quarterback being sacked. Again, McDermott let him know that was unacceptable too. Winning football teams don’t kill themselves and the Bills have been killing themselves for years. Ducasse was released on Sunday. 

Josh Allen had two series and got the Bills in field goal position on one of them. The first drive ended when he underthrew Zay Jones on a play that would’ve been a first down.

Before Stephen Hauschka hit the upright on a 34-yard field goal attempt, Jones dropped what would’ve been a touchdown pass from Allen down the seem. Allen was 6-of-11 for 66 yards.

The defense looked better than it was last year. At one point, the first downs were 15-2 in favor of the Bills. Yards gained were 235-44.

Jerry Hughes didn’t play in this game and free agent Corey Thompson started in his place. Thompson has had a good camp and I thought played very well in this game. He stuffed two different runs for no gain and a loss. The Bills need some depth at linebacker and if Thompson continues to improve, he might be able to provide that.

Watching rookie Cody Ford at guard was a struggle in the beginning, but I liked how he settled down and was pretty solid after getting rid of the jitters.

We hear a lot about the depth the Bills have at cornerback, but we saw it against the Colts. Lafayette Pitts did a terrific job breaking up a fourth down pass in Bills territory and another pass in the end zone where he knocked the ball right out of the receiver’s hands. With E.J. Gaines out for weeks, there is opportunity for some of these young players. 

Safety Dean Marlowe looked like he baited the quarterback and stepped in for an interception to the Colts' 19-yard line. This was the drive that Yeldon was replaced by Senorise Perry, who scored on a one-yard run.

Devin Singletary was taken by the Bills in the third round of this year’s draft and he ran hard. The rookie is very good at hitting the hole fast and hard. He was never asked to catch the ball at Florida Atlantic, but he showed us he’s good at it. He had three receptions for 21 yards, and all three came in key situations.

The best part of the night came when Christian Wade got into the game. The professional rugby star from England is trying to make a new career in football. On his first and only carry, he went untouched on a 65-yard touchdown run. Wade showed blazing speed and when he got to the sideline, all his teammates were there to mob him.  

The Bills will have joint practice next week in Carolina before playing the Panthers on Friday.