Josh Allen warmed up for the opener by leading a scoring drive and the Bills (2-1) finished the preseason with a 24-21 win Saturday over the Chicago Bears.
The Bills' starter completed 5 of 7 for 49 yards on Buffalo’s first possession. He left the game after Damien Harris’ 2-yard touchdown run up the middle ended the 72-yard drive.
“I thought coach (Sean McDermott) did a good job of getting plays in quick for us and allowing us to see things going on and guys were in the right spots and again,” Josh Allen said. “We kind of rehearsed some of the first third downs.”
A vintage Allen pass made the touchdown drive possible as he rolled right, then threw back across the field for 15 yards to Gabe Davis.
“I told the guys I thought they came in with the right mindset, and they were ready to play and had the right amount of energy going into the game,” McDermott said.
Kyle Allen then made a strong statement in his bid to win the backup quarterback job over Matt Barkley, who couldn’t play due to an elbow injury.
Allen, a former Texans quarterback who signed as a free agent, played the remainder of the game and led the Bills on three scoring drives, including a 29-yard TD pass behind the Bears' secondary to Quintin Morris in the second quarter for a 14-3 lead.
“Obviously Matt’s not available right now and I’m confident in Kyle and I like how he executed,” McDermott said.
Bills safety Damar Hamlin, whose heart stopped on the field in a game last year, had four tackles as he continued his comeback.
Former Bears running back Darrynton Evans finished another drive of 75 yards for Buffalo by breaking three tackles on a 35-yard TD run up the middle for a 24-13 Bills lead early in the fourth quarter.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields played three drives in his second appearance of the preseason. And on the final one he completed a 40-yard pass to DJ Moore. Fields came out of the game with the ball at the Buffalo 9-yard line so rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent could try to finish the drive in his attempt to earn the backup quarterback job over P.J. Walker.
“Coach (Matt Eberflus) had a play count for me,” Fields said. “That was just the end of my play count. I definitely wanted to stay in and finish the drive. But I can’t, because of the head man out there. Got to listen to him.”
Fields went 2 of 6 for 51 yards in his longest stint of the preseason. He also ran for 16 yards on three carries for the Bears (1-2).
Bagent didn’t get the ball in the end zone on the drive after Fields left and the Bears settled for Cairo Santos’ 34-yard field goal.
Later in the second quarter, however, the undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd scrambled 8 yards for a TD and cut the Bears deficit to 14-10. Bagent also directed a third-quarter drive for Santos’ 51-yard field goal after Tyler Bass’ 37-yard field goal just before halftime had given Buffalo a 17-10 lead.
Bagent finished 7 of 14 for 43 yards and ran four times for 23 yards. Walker played most of the fourth quarter and was 6 of 11 for 71 yards with a TD pass of 5 yards to Robert Burns.
Bills linebacker Baylon Spector came out in the third quarter with an unspecified injury and limped to the sideline. He didn’t return.
Bears guard Gabriel Houy left the game in the third quarter with an injury suffered while blocking on a running play. He was taken from the field by a cart.
NOTES: Neither of the Bears' starting safeties, Jaquan Brisker and Eddie Jackson, was available because of injuries but Eberflus said he expects both will be ready for the opener against Green Bay. ... The Bears' special teams had a punt block by wide receiver Isaiah Ford that gave them the chance to pull within 24-21 with 1:58 remaining. They also had a 55-yard kick return from rookie Tyler Scott to set up a touchdown.
Bills: Open the regular season at the New York Jets on Sept. 11.
Bears: Open the regular season at home against Green Bay on Sept 10.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl