BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After struggling in last week’s preseason debut, Josh Allen and the Bills’ starting offense got back on track with a touchdown drive at the start of Saturday’s final exhibition game in Chicago.
Allen completed 5 of 7 passes for 49 yards, including a couple third-down conversions, before Damien Harris capped the 69-yard drive with a scoring plunge from the 2.
Buffalo’s first-team defense also performed well, forcing a pair of three-and-outs against Justin Fields and Chicago’s starters.
Top receiver Stefon Diggs (20 yards) and Deonte Harty (14 yards) each caught two passes from Allen, and Gabe Davis, who was targeted three times, gained 15-yards on a third-down play on which Allen scrambled toward the sideline before making a cross-body throw to Davis in the red zone. The Bills did not commit a penalty on the scoring drive. James Cook rushed five times for 28 yards on the first two possessions.
Allen, Diggs and center Mitch Morse exited the game after the opening series. Kyle Allen took over at quarterback, with Matt Barkley (elbow) injured. David Edwards started in place of injured left guard Connor McGovern, and Ryan Bates played center after Morse came off the field.
The second drive ended with Kyle Allen throwing an interception, and included Buffalo’s first penalty, on Edwards for an illegal block. Kyle Allen later had a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Quinton Morris, but lost a fumble before halftime. Ja’Marcus Ingram, a second-year defensive back out of University at Buffalo, made an interception leading to Tyler Bass’ 37-yard field goal giving the Bills a 17-10 lead at the half.
Tyrel Dodson started at middle linebacker for the Bills, and he played into the second quarter alongside many second-team defenders. The Bears put together a 68-yard field goal drive against this unit. Christian Benford started at cornerback for the Bills, before giving way to Dane Jackson.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.