ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen needed just six plays to lead the Bills 70 yards for an opening-drive touchdown before taking a seat in his preseason debut, and Buffalo routed the Denver Broncos’ backups 42-15 on Saturday.
Allen completed all three attempts for 45 yards, capped by a 28-yard touchdown to Gabe Davis in showing he and new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey are on the same page. Backup Case Keenum continued the scoring by closing out the first half by overseeing three touchdown drives.
Acquired in a trade with Cleveland this offseason, Keenum bounced back from a sloppy preseason debut by finishing 16 of 18 for 192 yards and a perfectly placed 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end O.J. Howard. Keenum threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in a 27-24 win over Indianapolis last week.
Zach Moss rounded out the first-half scoring with a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs, while Duke Johnson scored on 2- and 8-yard runs in the second half.
Buffalo extended its preseason winning streak to 10 games. The run is the NFL’s second-longest active streak behind the Baltimore Ravens, who have won a league-record 21 straight, and play at Arizona on Sunday.
The Broncos took a step back after an encouraging 17-7 preseason-opening win over Dallas while resting Russell Wilson and many of their starters for a second straight week.
Journeyman Josh Johnson finished 8 of 16 for just 70 yards in the first half in his bid to lock up the backup job.
After overseeing a 12-play, 64-yard opening drive that ended with Brandon McManus hitting a 33-yard field goal, Johnson’s final three drives of the half combined for 52 yards and three first downs.
Denver’s Brett Rypien finished 22 of 26 for 191 yards and a 1-yard touchdown to Eric Saubert with 10:55 remaining.
Matt Barkley mopped up for Buffalo, and finished 7 of 8 for 65 yards in the second half.
The Bills finished with 510 yards and scored touchdowns on each of their first six possessions before Matt Haack punted from midfield with 8:08 remaining.
On his TD pass to Davis, Allen attempted to scramble to his left before stepping back in the pocket and finding his receiver in the left side of the end zone with a step on rookie cornerback Damarri Mathis.
One reason Allen got the start was the Bills wanted to provide him live action and a chance to get more comfortable working with Dorsey, who was promoted from his quarterback coaching role this offseason. He replaced Brian Daboll, who was hired by the New York Giants and had been Allen’s only coordinator over his first four seasons in Buffalo.
VON THE GREETER
Bills pass-rusher Von Miller got the day off in facing his former team after being traded by the Broncos to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams last season. Signed by the Bills to a six-year contract in March, the NFL’s active leader in sacks (115 1/2) spent part of the pre-game warmups chatting with former teammates.
BRONCOS: P Sam Martin was ruled out after hurting his ankle in pregame warmups. … CB Michael Ojemudia did not return after hurting his right elbow in the second quarter. … OT Casey Tucker did not return after hurting his right foot in the third quarter.
BILLS: S Nick McCloud returned after requiring six stitches to close a gash on his face in the first quarter.
The Bills held a moment of silence before the game to honor Florida International linebacker Luke Knox, who died on Wednesday. Knox is the younger brother of Bills’ tight-end Dawson Knox, who has been excused from the team to be with his family. Bills fans have rallied to Knox’s support by donating more than $100,000 to the P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative, a charity supported by the tight end.
Bills’ tight end Tommy Sweeney was spotted entering the stadium wearing a T-shirt, with “Long Live Luke” printed on the front.
Broncos: Close preseason hosting the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 27.
Bills: Close preseason at the Carolina Panthers on Friday.
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