The regular season dress rehearsal is on deck in Detroit. Head Coach Sean McDermott didn’t announce how much the starters would play against the Lions but typically the 3rd preseason game features the starters. Here are 4 storylines to watch as the Bills look to improve to 3-0 this preseason.
1- Air raid Allen. The Bills offense has focused on the passing game during the first two preseason contests. Quarterback Josh Allen has thrown the ball 15 times during 4 series. He’s specifically worked on his timing with short and intermediate routes, taking what the defense gives him. I expect offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to stick with that script against the Lions. We all know that Allen can reach back and fire a deep ball when it’s needed so this seems like another great opportunity for the passing attack to continue to work on timing and precision.
2- “D” should face their first test. The Bills 1st team defense has played against quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett(Colts) and Kyle Allen(Panthers). Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, status for the game is unknown, is on a different level. I want to see how the Bills respond to a legit veteran QB who can actually read a defense, look off defenders, and make plays down the field. This is also a dress rehearsal for the Lions so I expect to see most of their starters on offense. Let’s see what kind of pressure the defensive line can get on Stafford. This is good tune-up for the regular season… if Stafford suits up.
3- Can Duke do it again? I don’t believe any players stock went up more than Duke Williams’ following the second preseason game. The Bills wide receiver entered that game as an after thought in the position battle but that’s all changed. The Bills are still trying to sort out the final roster spot or two at wide receiver. Duke has great size (unlike his fellow WRs) and if he shows up big again the final spot could belong to him.
4- Dawson’s debut. The starting tight end spot is still very much up for grabs. Dawson Knox looked good during OTA’s and at the start of training camp until he went down with a hamstring injury. Fellow rookie Tommy Sweeney took advantage of a rash of injuries at the position and started the 1st two preseason games. Knox is expect to make his preseason debut against the Lions. It will be very interesting to see how the Bills divide the snaps between the rookies.