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Bills Today: Philip Rivers has praise for Josh Allen's love of the game


1 - Philip Rivers has praise for Josh Allen's love for the game

His teammates have confidence in him, and his opponents seemingly do, as well.

Rookie quarterback Josh Allen will start the first game of his professional career this Sunday when the Bills host the 0-1 Los Angeles Chargers. The seventh overall pick from last April's draft has yet to start an NFL game, but he's already made an impression on some of the league's top quarterbacks.

Philip Rivers, the quarterback that Buffalo will face this Sunday, is one player who has already been impressed by Allen. Rivers spent time with a few rookie quarterbacks in the spring, and Allen's love for the game of football stood out to him.

"I was able to actually spend most of a day with those guys, him and Sam [Darnold] and a couple guys, one day last spring," Rivers said. "Gosh, big strong arm and really has a passion for the game that I could tell just in the short time I was around him. I'm sure he's excited."

Allen and Rivers actually have a few things in common. They're both tall, intelligent signal-callers who know how to command an offense. In addition, they both wear No. 17. While humbled at the thought, Rivers isn't ready to take credit for Allen's jersey number selection.

"I don't know the background on that," Rivers said. "That's when you know you've been in a while, when the young guys just might, you might play a part in that, but I don't know that."

2 - Tremaine Edmunds, Derwin James receive high marks in NFL debuts

While it may not seem like it on the surface, Tremaine Edmunds and Derwin James are connected to one another.

The two defenders were selected with consecutive picks on the first night of the 2018 NFL Draft. With Edmunds still on the board at pick No. 16, the Bills decided to trade up for the second time that evening, grabbing their franchise middle linebacker. With the very next pick in the draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Derwin James, the athletic safety from Florida State.

Edmunds and James, who both earned spots on the All-ACC team in their final collegiate seasons, will face off for the first time as professionals when the Bills host the Chargers on Sunday. Both players are coming off of tremendous NFL debuts. Bleacher Report gave Edmunds an 'A' and James a 'B' in their Week 1 rookie report card.

Analyst Maurice Moton feels that Edmunds showed flashes of greatness in Week 1.

"He's a linebacker with run-stopping abilities and awareness who put forth an encouraging individual performance within a defense that must play well to give the club a shot at winning games."

Moton also wrote that James was an impactful player last Sunday.

"Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley could utilize James' abilities to cover and play downhill to harden soft spots in the front seven. In Week 1, the Florida State product impacted multiple levels of the Chargers defense."

Edmunds and James are perhaps two early favorites to win the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Both players will look to separate themselves from the pack on Sunday.

3 - Nine Bills among preliminary nominees for 2019 HOF class

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 102 preliminary nominees for their 2019 class on Thursday. Nine former Bills made the cut.

Kent Hull, Cornelius Bennett, London Fletcher, Takeo Spikes, Darryl Talley, Steve Tasker, Larry Centers, Troy Vincent, and Chris Spielman are all eligible for the Hall of Fame class of 2019. Fletcher, who played with the Bills from 2002-06, is the lone first-year eligible player on the list of former Bills.

Hull, Bennett, Talley, and Tasker will look to join former teammates Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, and Andre Reed in the Hall of Fame this year. The last player to enter the Hall as a member of the Bills was Reed, who was inducted in 2014.

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