Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
I finished watching the game around 1:00am last night, following a concert we did earlier that evening. Tape-delayed is not the best way to watch, but I was feeling very thankful for my old VCR last night.
That is, until the game began.
But even with a dismal start, and a loss… there are some positives from this game. Let me share a few.
- Lionel Gates
Willis was getting stuffed. The O-Line didn’t seem to be able to open any rushing lanes. But even with that, one of Gates’ first carries was a 1 or 2-yard gain that was actually impressive to me. He hit the guy who was unblocked, ready for the tackle, and drove him forward. With authority. I was impressed, and there was more to come. Gates had several great runs (powerful, fast, good moves) including the games only TD, that incredible flip-over-the-pile run for the score!
- Kyle Williams
Wow! There was one series of downs where Williams made EVERY play! The most impressive of that drive was when he stopped DeShaun Foster by himself after fending off TWO Panthers who had him solidly blocked. This guy looks strong, tenacious, and smart. I saw him getting his hands up in the passing lane several times, and I believe he did get one block eventually.
- Our Kickers
Speaking of blocks, wasn’t it odd that Moorman had a punt blocked? That is super rare, but obviously this one was not his fault. You can’t not block a guy and expect to get off a clean punt. Other than that, the kickers showed again how they are one of the bright spots on our team. Moorman was booming huge punts and Rian Lindell was kicking 53 yard field goals. He accounted for more than 50% of our scoring (2 FGs, 1 XP). We don’t want that to happen… but we might be seeing a lot of “No Foot” this year.
- Donte Whitner
Really, I saw several of our draft picks out there making plays. Granted, it’s pre-season, so they are out there more, able to make more plays. But really, Whitner looked good. Always on the ball. Sure tackling. Smart, tenacious player. Sounds familiar. Sounds like what the Bills were drafting. Looks like the got what they are looking for. Now hopefully we can translate this good work ethic into some wins…
- The QBs…
I really felt bad for Kelly Holcomb. Was he just nervous or something? He looked terrible in just about every way. Blame it on the O-Line that hasn’t had time to “gel”, blame it on the Panthers’ #1 defensive unit (which is certainly impressive) … whatever the reason… he definitely looked terrible.
But, bring on JP, and I was not really impressed there, either. He looked jittery, unsure of himself, and almost as bad as Holcomb. He definitely made some good plays later on, but you could argue it was against the second-string defense. Overall, not a very good showing for the QBs.
You know, it’s just preseason, but it’s Bills football, and I’m not willing to throw in the towel after one game. I was certainly not as impressed as I had hoped to be, but our defense looked fairly solid (only allowed one score, on the opening drive) and I am fairly confident that the O-line will indeed “gel”, and one of the QBs will stop trying to fight for the starting job and just relax and play football. My hunch is it will be JP, but we’ll see what the Bills are thinking after a few more weeks.
Well, those are my thoughts on the game… anyone else?