Bills rookie Josh Allen shows off electric arm in debut

Josh Allen took the field to a chorus of cheers and nearly sent Buffalo's New Era Field into paroxysms of excitement on his first preseason pass.

Entering Thursday night's game after halftime, the Bills' first-round draft pick promptly dropped back on a play-action pass and unfurled an effortless 60-yard bomb that led rookie receiver Robert Foster just a step out of bounds for a loud incompletion.

Allen unleashed a tantalizing sequel early in the fourth quarter, stepping up in the pocket on third-and-22 with a deep rainbow that would have gone for a 62-yard touchdown had it not been just out of the reach of Foster's outstretched hands.

After being shut out for 28 minutes, Allen powered through a tiny window to Ray-Ray McCloud for a 14-yard touchdown with just over a minute remaining.

The former Wyoming star was as advertised, struggling with timing and pressure while showing inconsistent footwork and suspect decision-making. What's undeniable, however, is that he boasts an awe-inducing arm and a corresponding excitement level that few NFL passers can match.

Beyond the bombs, his easy arm strength was just as evident on mid-range throws to the sideline and down the seam. Unafraid to move the chains with his legs, Allen scrambled three times for 29 yards, converting a pair of third downs with daring dashes.

For all of those flashes of potential, though, Allen figures to remain behind Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron on the depth chart for next week's game versus the Browns.

The three Buffalo quarterbacks combined for 338 yards and two touchdowns, each going over the century mark Thursday night. Although Allen finished a solid 9 of 19 for 116 yards and the touchdown, Peterman was the most impressive of the trio, marching through Carolina's defense with seven consecutive completions -- capped off by a 28-yard touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin -- on the opening drive.

Bills fans have to be excited about the electric playmaking potential on display in Allen's preseason debut. The question is how long it will take before the quarterback of the future elbows his way into quarterback of the present.

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