Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)
If I were to condense my thoughts on tonight’s first pre-season game into two words, they would probably be “sloppy” and “promise”.
Let’s get “sloppy” out of the way first. The first series or two especially were glaring examples of why pre-season tickets should not be priced the same as regular season tickets. We all expect it, but you hope it’s sort of like riding a bike. You can’t ever forget how to do it. But what I saw was first, giving credit where credit is due, an amazing sharp Drew Brees running an amazingly sharp New Orleans offense, against an amazingly out of position Bills defense. Yes, we held eventually, only allowing two FG attempts, and the interception in the end zone, but man did they have their way with our defense.
And offense wasn’t much better. For all the beef we gained on the offensive line, you couldn’t tell it. It looked like most of the RBs were running hard, but there was just nowhere to go.
But I’d say most of the sloppiness was on defense. The DBs were completely out of position on several plays. Jabari Greer might be competing for the starting CB slot, rather than the main nickel CB. I know Jason Webster has been impressive in camp, but man… he was getting smoked! Meanwhile, Greer had two obviously great plays on the two INTs. Actually, I noticed Ashton Youboty several times as well.
And, let’s not forget… several of the times our defense looked silly it was at the hands of Drew Brees and/or Reggie Bush. There was a reason the Saints had the number one offense in 2006.
There were several bright spots. First of all, how about a round of applause for the Bills second round draft pick, “POZ”??? (The announcers thought that Posluszny might be nick-named “PUZ”… but, that’s par for the course with football commentators…) Nine tackles, and a sack. He looked ready to play and definitely attacked the play more than what I remember Fletcher doing. I’m sure he was made to look silly on several occasions, but I don’t remember them. Poz was definitely a bright spot.
Then there was the entire Special Teams. Someone posted the following on the Buffalo Bills Message Boards during the game:
Bobby April = God
And, while I do not agree with the theology of that statement, I completely agree with the sentiment. 🙂 Our special teams is going to keep us in several games this season, and very likely could win a game or two. They are that good. Two punts… TWO PUNTS downed inside the FIVE??!?! Not the twenty. The five. Moorman is insane. The kick coverage is phenomenal. They are right there, and sure tacklers. And dare we forget to pay homage to our favorite Bills’ kicker, Rian “Who You Callin’ No Foot” Lindell?? A 54 yard FG?? And RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE. My goodness. McGee added a nice return as well. This unit is incredible. Even in the first pre-season game!
My wife noticed a cool stat that deserves “bright spot” mention as well. Our Buffalo Bills only committed a single penalty in the entire sixty minute game. One. That’s impressive, especially for the first pre-season game.
Of course, you have to give some love to our rookie QB, Trent Edwards. His stats weren’t that impressive – and he did look pretty green at times – but 10-11 ain’t bad. And he had some nice completions to Fred Jackson, Roscoe Parrish, and Sam Aiken. Not bad for his first day on the job, even if it was against third and fourth stringers. 😉
But how about our veteran QB? Even though I started getting a little scared, saying out loud to my TV, “Get dowwwwn… Get DOWN!”, that was quite a scramble by Losman. He does have some “good wheels”, as the saying goes. Perhaps, just save those “wheels” for the games that matter… 🙂
Langston Walker did not impress me on the offensive line (when you’re 6’8″ and 365… blow some guys off the line, mister!) but he did block a field goal on his first attempt. Guess he was pretty good at that in Oakland (several last season) and perhaps that will be a secret weapon for the Bills this season.
- I was surprised at how out of position Jason Webster was. He looked decent to me at camp, and I have heard nothing but praise for him. So… that was a surprise.
- Who was that guy wearing #23? I thought he was speedy, powerful, hits the hole hard, and a very confident, sure-handed running back? He was nowhere in the passing game… and carried just 2 times for 3 yards. That was definitely a surprise as I thought I read at BuffaloBills.com that he would be getting a good number of carries tonight.
- Fred Jackson was conversely a nice surprise at RB. He ran hard, and smart. Knew where the hole was and hit it. He also showed some great balance and strength, fighting through tackles. And, it doesn’t hurt that he scored our only TD.
- Oh yeah… don’t forget the best surprise of all… we’re undefeated! The Bills came out with the win. Well deserved. Good work, lads!
Overall… we won… and got some good performances from a few young guys (and our special teams!) but in the end, it’s just the first pre-season game. 🙂 Long way to go (for which I am very thankful!!) and it will hopefully start getting a bit more crisp from here on. I’m concerned (obviously) about our secondary. But if we can get some pressure on the QB (as they were toward the end) then we can take some pressure off the DBs. That would be a wise move, I think.
Bring on the real stuff! Less than four weeks!