NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 2 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 42, Denver Broncos 15

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) at the line of scrimmage in the first quarter of a pre-season game against the Denver Broncos at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills dominated the Denver Broncos 42-15 thanks to starting their first-string players early while the Broncos only played backups.

Editor’s note: All grades in this article are subject to review. All PFF player grades will be finalized by 12 pm ET tomorrow.


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BUFFALO BILLS

Quarterback

  • Josh Allen played one drive to start the game, which ended when he spun away from pressure in the pocket and delivered a strike for a touchdown. 

  • Case Keenum followed after Allen’s only drive but stayed with the starting offense initially before he played with the second team. He completed 16-of-18 attempts at 10.7 yards per attempt.

Running Back

  • Rookie James Cook looked much better this week, carrying four times for 38 yards — 17 of which came after contact.
  • Devin Singletary started and played every snap with the starting unit. He rushed four times for 39 yards, 31 of which came after contact.

Receivers

  • Gabriel Davis caught two passes for 47 yards, including a touchdown to end the first drive with the starters.
  • Isaiah McKenzie continues to lead the competition to be Buffalo's third receiver, playing seven of the 10 snaps with the starters while Jamison Crowder played two.

Offensive line

  • Free agent pickup David Quessenberry started at right tackle as Spencer Brown works his way back from injury. He didn’t allow any pressure but did lose oe pass-blocking rep.
  • The starting offensive line stayed in for only a few snaps when the Bills made a quarterback change before giving way to the second-string unit.

Defensive line

  • A.J. Epenesa managed multiple pressures and multiple additional pass-rushing wins from only eight pass-rushing snaps in one of the best individual performances in the game.
  • Shaq Lawson accumulated the most pass-rushing snaps with 24, and he generated two pressures and had a batted pass.

Linebackers

  • Starters Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds each played in the game, notching 16 snaps each before the backups took over.
  • They each gave up a catch on their only target in coverage and combined to lose Mike Boone on a quick pass as they collided trying to make the tackle.

Secondary

  • Rookie Kaiir Elam played 16 snaps in coverage and was in press coverage on 10 of them. He didn’t allow a catch but did get flagged for grabbing a facemask during coverage.
  • Dane Jackson was targeted three times but didn’t allow a catch, breaking up one of the incompletions.

DENVER BRONCOS

Quarterback

  • Josh Johnson started because Denver played almost exclusively backup players. He played 19 snaps, passed for only 4.4 yards per attempt and had a 53.3% adjusted completion rate against Buffalo’s starters.
  • Brett Rypien brought a spark late on, finishing the game with 22 completions from 26 attempts for 191 yards and a touchdown.

Running backs

  • Mike Boone flashed some playmaking ability early but mostly as a receiver. He carried five times for only 11 yards, but 15 yards came after contact.
  • JaQuan Hardy played two snaps with the “starters” but finished the game with only two carries for -1 yards. He gained three yards after contact.

Receivers

  • Albert Okwuegbunam played 10 of 19 snaps with the starting unit and was still playing deep into the fourth quarter at tight end.
  • Kendall Hinton played 16 snaps with the starting unit and totaled four targets, narrowly failing to get two feet down on a spectacular one-handed catch along the sideline.

Offensive line

  • Fifth-round rookie Luke Wattenberg started at guard and played a massive 62 snaps including penalties.
  • Zack Johnson was the other offensive lineman to play at least 60 snaps. He started at left tackle and gave up a pressure rate of almost nine percent.

Defensive line

  • Rookie Nik Bonitto flashed his pass-rush ability, generating a couple of pressures and another couple of winning reps that didn’t get a chance to become pressure from just nine pass-rushes.
  • Baron Browning also recorded multiple pressures in his snaps.

Linebackers

  • Only three linebackers played any snaps for Denver, as Alex Singleton and Justin Strnad each started and played 14 snaps before giving way.
  • Barrington Wade played 32 snaps, 16 of which were against the run. He totaled three tackles, but his average depth of tackle was 10.3 yards downfield.

Secondary

  • Michael Ojemudia has experience covering starters in the regular season, but he still looked in over his head trying to stay with Stefon Diggs early in the game. He gave up five catches for 80 yards.
  • Essang Bassey was Denver's other starting cornerback, and he allowed five catches for 43 yards, three of which were first downs.
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