The third game of the preseason is typically the time where coaches grab their starters off of the sideline to replicate a real game scenario. Tonight, Josh Allen and Matthew Stafford squared off in a game that saw a handful of starters go down with injuries. Corner back Tre’Davious White, left guard Quinton Spain, running back Frank Gore, and corner back Levi Wallace all suffered an injury of some form or another. Luckily, none of the Bills injuries seemed serious.
With a regular season simulation, playing well in this game is huge for any player on the roster bubble heading into next week. Let’s check out the winners and losers.
Winners, Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy, running backs:
Both members of the oldest backfield duo showed everyone that they still have it. McCoy ran for 37 yards on six carries and Gore ran for 57 on eight carries. Gore’s performance is also impressive considering he took a helmet to the knee, causing him to limp off the field, but Gore returned to the game and finished strong.
Loser, Josh Allen, quarterback:
Allen has played extremely well in his first two preseason outings but against the Lions, he looked rushed and sloppy. On one play in particular, Allen was scrambling, trying to avoid the sack and rather than taking the sack, he threw an off balance throw into double coverage. The throw was picked off but luckily got called back after a roughing the passer call. Allen will likely sit next week for the final preseason game, leaving a sour taste in the mouth of Bills fans with sub-par play.
Winner, Shaq Lawson, defensive end:
Starting at right end for Jerry Hughes, Lawson provided the Bills with consistent pass rush and even recorded a sack. Lawson seems to have a fire in him after the Bills opted not to pick up his fifth-year option. He will likely rotate with Trent Murphy at left end during the regular season.
Loser, Dawson Knox, tight end:
This was Knox’s first chance at preseason action and he got limited reps after his hamstring injury. After an impressive training camp, Knox was underwhelming in what limited reps he did get. It looks like Knox has a long ways to go before the regular season starts.
With only one preseason game left before cut day, there are still a lot of players that need to have a standout performance. It will be interesting to see if the Bills can finish the preseason undefeated.