The Buffalo Bills this afternoon wrapped up their final preseason contest of 2021 — a 19-0 whitewashing of the Green Bay Packers.
Here are five things that immediately jumped out.
The Bills talked a lot about improving their running game since the end of last season. And there's no doubt they want to be stronger there.
But they aren't kidding anyone. They're not going to be running much. And when they do, it will be set up by the pass. They have surgical weapons in quarterback Josh Allen and a bunch of receivers, running backs and even a couple of tight ends.
Running game? Only as a change of pace. Just check out all their empty backfield sets in this game, the first in which they played all their available starters.
Allen is poised
Allen completed his first nine passes and finished 20-for-26 with 194 yards in his only preseason action. He stood poised in the pocket when he had to and was spectacular when flushed out of it. The highlight was when he scrambled to his left and threw across his body with incredible touch to Cole Beasley for a 21-yard gain to set up the Bills' second touchdown.
Allen's first TD was a laser over the middle to Gabriel on third-and-20, right after he took his only sack.
Rousseau is a starter
Amazing how rookie first-round draft pick Gregory Rousseau went from a project who wasn't going to see the light of day in his first season (because of rust or some such from having opted out of the 2020 season at Miami) to training-camp standout to starter in just a a few months.
The defensive end started on the left side instead of Mario Addison on Sunday and provided one of four quarterback hits for the Bills in the first half.
He's been everything they envisioned and more. And he's arrived well ahead of schedule — so much so that Addison could be deemed expendable by Tuesday at 4 p.m., the deadline for NFL teams to have their rosters trimmed to 53 players.
But if one of the Bills' veteran ends do go, it won't just be because of Rousseau. It would be because fellow rookie Boogie Basham and second-year player A.J. Epenesa look ready to make major contributions as well.
Speaking of the ends ...
General Manager Brandon Beane all but warned everyone to brace for a trade involving one of their veteran defensive ends when interviewed during the NFL Network's telecast.
"I think there’s going to be a lot of phone calls,” Beane said. "We’ll have to see what makes sense. Obviously I’m going to meet with the medical people tomorrow and go through how we got out of this game, make sure we’re deep enough to move a player.
"... That’s probably the position we’ve had the most calls is our defensive line and especially the defensive ends. I imagine we’ll get some calls. We just have to decide again there how many we want to keep and who we’d be willing to part with and if the value made sense for us."
Siran Neal, battling for the last cornerback spot, clearly was Buffalo's leading and best open-field tackler. His team-high six tackles were all solo.
Whether that was enough is another story. The Bills have four locks at the position in Tre'Davious White, Levi Wallace, Dane Jackson and Taron Johnson. Everyone else is a question mark..
What Neal has going for him is three seasons under his belt as a proven special-teams performer.