The Buffalo Bills defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 12, 27-17, thanks to a good performance by the Buffalo defense, run game, and some career firsts.
While big plays are not uncommon for wide receiver Cole Beasley, an unexpected one came in the second quarter. The Bills receiver has had the NFL buzzing with catches on third down and plays in the red zone since signing with Buffalo (8-3), but beyond his clutch grabs he possesses another skill that helped the Bills earn a victory: His quarterback arm.
Beasley threw his first NFL pass, and first since he was a high school quarterback, on a trick play with about 10 minutes left in the first half vs. the Chargers. Left wide open, rookie Gabriel Davis caught the 20-yard pass for a touchdown:
Cole Beasley throws a TOUCHDOWN. #BillsMafia
— NFL (@NFL) November 29, 2020
The trickery was too much for the Chargers (3-8) defense to handle, and onlookers weren’t sure what was going to happen at first, as Beasley took an odd looking move into the backfield when he was called into motion by quarterback Josh Allen.
Even with all the complexities going on, the Bills were confident the play was going to connect, especially Davis.
“It was great, I knew it was going to work. We run a lot of those bubble screens,” Davis said via video conference following the game. “Cole was able to put ‘a dart,’ he said he threw it kind of hard to get it in there… but it was a soft ball, an easy catch, glad we could make that connection.”
Reflecting after the game, Beasley was also able to admit it maybe wasn’t much of a bullet pass.
“It was really ugly, but it got there, I’ll take it,” Beasley said.
Regardless, the biggest takeaway from the play wasn’t the velocity of the ball, it was the execution. Perfect down to a tee. Davis said the Bills had been practicing the play for a couple of weeks in practice and the gun-slinger on the play gave all the credit to offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
“The timing in which (Daboll) calls [trick plays.]… Dabs has done a good job of mixing it up. He does a good job of keeping them off-balanced and that was one of those times right there,” Beasley said.
Buffalo sports a number of players with past experience at the quarterback position, or at least an ability to throw the ball, offering possibilities for the type of “position-less football.” Daboll’s four passing touchdowns by non-quarterbacks since his first year with Buffalo in 2018 is tied with the Miami Dolphins for the most in the NFL.
Beasley joins fellow receiver Isaiah McKenzie, who threw a 12-yard TD pass back to Allen in the Bills’ game against the Cardinals, as only the second pair of non-QBs in franchise history to throw touchdown passes in a season.