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[BN] Blitz newsletter: O-line hung Josh Allen out to dry in starting showcase

Josh Allen literally went backward in his effort to win the starting quarterback competition Sunday. With the rookie starting at quarterback, the Bills had minus-5 net passing yards while falling behind 20-0 at halftime of their eventual 26-13 loss to the Bengals in the third preseason game.

Allen doesn't deserve all of the blame, however, and Vic Carucci still believes he is the best option to start the regular season opener.

"As bad as Allen looked, his O-line — which [Sean] McDermott said was shuffled frequently as part of a plan to see how it would adjust to injuries and certain players being active and inactive on game day — was worse. Much worse," Carucci writes.

Nathan Peterman, on the other hand, looked sharp again: The second-year quarterback was 16 for 21 for 200 yards and a touchdown in the second half, continuing his strong preseason. "I've definitely put my best effort out there," Peterman said.

McDermott not ready to name starting QB: The coach declined to provide a timetable for when he would name a starter with the Bills' season opener in Baltimore two weeks away.

Andy Dalton's big day: The Bengals starter was the best quarterback on the field. After receiving a standing ovation from Bills fans, he threw a 57-yard touchdown pass on his first attempt and finished 11 of 16 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Dalton started his day by making a surprise visit to Roswell Park to make a donation in appreciation of Bills fans raising money for his foundation last year.

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Mark Gaughan's observations:  The offensive line is searching for answers, Jason Croom is looking like the favorite to be the second tight end, and rookie Taron Johnson appears to be claiming the slot cornerback spot.

Cornerback battle: Phillip Gaines got first-team reps after Vontae Davis got burned by John Ross for the opening touchdown. McDermott said after the game the two free agent acquisitions are in an open competition to start opposite Tre'Davious White, who also got beat for a touchdown by A.J. Green.

Photo gallery: Harry Scull Jr.'s images from New Era Field.

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