ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson threw an interception and was unable to generate much offense with his legs, either, during Indianapolis’ preseason-opening 23-19 loss to the Buffalo Bills in an outing decided by third-stringers Saturday.
The Bills got an emotional boost with safety Damar Hamlin credited with three tackles over two-plus defensive series in his first competitive game since going into cardiac arrest and being resuscitated on the field during a game at Cincinnati on Jan. 2. Hamlin showed no signs of hesitation and made a key impact on his fourth defensive snap by stopping Evan Hull for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the Buffalo 40 to end the Colts’ second possession.
Trailing 13-10, the Bills went ahead for good with 6:11 left in the third quarter, when Matt Barkley hit Tyrell Shavers for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Shavers’ touchdown made up for his miscue earlier in the quarter when Kyle Allen’s pass tipped off his hands and led to Darius Rush’s 52-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Richardson, the No. 4 draft pick out of Florida and third quarterback selected in the draft, failed to quell questions about his accuracy over 13 college starts. He finished 7 of 12 for 67 yards and an interception and two carries for 7 yards.
BEARS 23, TITANS 17
CHICAGO (AP) — Justin Fields threw touchdown passes to prized newcomer DJ Moore and Khalil Herbert on Chicago’s first two possessions, then watched as the Bears beat Tennessee in the teams’ preseason opener.
Moore and Herbert turned short passes into sprints to the end zone against a second-string defense after Tennessee’s Malik Willis led the Titans on a 75-yard touchdown drive to start the game.
A third-round pick last year, Willis hit a wide-open Chris Moore in the middle for a 30-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and scored from the 2 with Chicago using mostly reserves. Willis completed 16 of 25 passes for 189 yards and was intercepted at the goal line with Ryan Tannehill not playing.
Fields completed all three of his passes for 129 yards. He finished with a 158.3 rating and didn’t run the ball before P.J. Walker took over. Walker was 4 of 8 for 19 yards with an interception. Nathan Peterman started the second half and was 4 of 6 for 58 yards.
Titans second-round pick Will Levis threw for 85 yards, going 9 of 14 and was intercepted in the final minute.
JETS 27, PANTHERS 0
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bryce Young was 4 of 6 passing for 21 yards in his NFL preseason debut as Carolina lost to New York.
The No. 1 overall pick in the draft played three series and the Panthers picked up just one first down with the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner under center against a Jets defense that rested its starters. Young didn’t get much help from his offensive line as he was hit on three of his seven drop backs.
Aaron Rodgers’ debut with the Jets will have to wait for another day as coach Robert Saleh held out the four-time league MVP for the second straight preseason game. The 39-year-old Rodgers hasn’t played in a preseason game since 2018 with Green Bay.
Zach Wilson got the start and played the entire first half, leading the Jets (1-1) to scores on three of his six first-half possessions. He finished 14 of 20 for 123 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown pass to backup tight end Kenny Yeboah.
After throwing an interception, Jets third-stringer Tim Boyle bounced back with TD passes to tight ends EJ Jenkins and Zack Kuntz. Boyle finished 9 of 10 for 84 yards.
JAGUARS 28, COWBOYS 23
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Calvin Ridley had two catches in his first game in nearly two years, and Trevor Lawrence responded to an interception with a touchdown pass in Jacksonville’s preseason win over Dallas.
Playing against mostly Dallas backup defenders, Ridley had a short catch on Jacksonville’s second series, then a first-down grab on the third possession before Lawrence’s scoring toss to Christian Kirk. It was the first game for Ridley since Oct. 24, 2021. The receiver, playing through a broken left foot that season, stepped away to address his mental health following a home robbery. He was suspended for the entire 2022 season because he bet on the NFL while away from the Atlanta Falcons.
Lawrence was 5 of 6 for 36 yards, 21 of them going to Ridley. The Jaguars’ QBs behind Lawrence, C.J. Beathard and Nathan Rourke, had a short TD run apiece.
Rourke had the play of the game in the fourth quarter when he escaped two defenders and was in the arms of a third while throwing a 21-yard scoring pass to Qadree Ollison.
Dallas third-stringer Will Grier threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Tolbert.