HOF Game Review: There’s Room For Improvement! Right?

Players rallied around Andre Reed before the game!  - Photo via

Players rallied around Andre Reed before the game! – Photo via bills.buffalonews.com

This weekend in Canton belonged to Buffalo. Bills fans took over Canton as we usually do any time a Bills player is inducted. There were thousands of Bills fans creating a sea of red, white and blue! You would think with that many fans in attendance making it feel more like a home game, the emotional rollercoaster of Reed’s induction being the final piece to the 90’s dynasty, and Kelly being, well, Kelly Tough would have translated into a better performance on the field from our Bills. Maybe they should have watched the interviews of Jim Kelly and Andre Reed prior to the game. (If you haven’t seen them either check them out HERE.) Lackluster play seemed to define the game, and, unfortunately, the game went the way of the NY Giants as they pulled out a 17-13 victory. I know, I know, it’s preseason and let’s not forget we here at www.WhatsGoingOnInBuffalo.com prefer to stay positive. After all, there was so much to like about this weekend that it’s impossible to ruin the feelings you have today just because they lost one preseason game. Even the 1990’s Bills weren’t very successful in the preseason, often not having a winning record or winning any at all! With that said, here’s my take-away from the game that we should be proud of and perhaps some things to be not so proud of…

Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (71) recovers a fumble under pressure from New York Giants defensive end Kerry Wynn (69) during the fourth quarter - Photo via AP Photo/Ron Schwane

Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (71) recovers a fumble.- Photo via AP Photo/Ron Schwane

The offensive line looked pretty good. We definitely have some depth as there was a consistent pocket pretty much the entire game. There were a few sacks mostly due to coverage (only one that was a true sack and not a coverage sack), but for the most part rookie Seantreal Henderson seemed to hold his own for his first real NFL game. Cyrus Kouandjio, on the other hand, definitely needs to continue to work. He had some good play, but let’s keep an eye on these guys as we move forward and see where they are after the last preseason game. Either way, as long as they progress, the Bills offensive line looks to be better and deeper than last year.

I liked the running backs. All three played well, and I think the Bills did a great job adding some depth with Fred going on 33 and CJ Spiller in a contract year. Anthony Dixon may add some much needed grit on the goal line this year although Fred Jackson does just fine!

A bright spot on the defensive line isn’t named Williams or Dareus but Cohen, Landen Cohen, a new DT signed on July 21st. Though you can say he was paying against 2nd and 3rd string guys, he seemed to get a good jump on the ball, being in the backfield on several occasions leading to a few tackles for losses and busted plays. He may be a guy to keep an eye on, being added to an already dangerous front four.

OK. Let’s get a little negative here as we all saw the QB play. Jeff Tuel has Ryan Fitzpatrick’s mentality and will literally throw the ball to his receiver regardless of coverage. That’s not always a good thing! He was by far the best of the three QB’s, and that’s not saying much. Thad Lewis looked extremely shaky after some promising games last year with very little exposure to the Bills offense; I was expecting much better play with a complete off season under his belt, but he seemed to regress on Sunday. Let’s see if he can bounce back next week. And that brings me to EJ Manuel. Well, big guy, going two of seven with three batted balls and a miss on a wide open Sammy Watkins on the side line isn’t the best way to earn Bills fans trust. Although Mike Williams did drop a TD pass as well, I think we need to see a little more from EJ. I personally believe he needs to play more in the games. After all he’s basically a rookie by missing so much time last year. He hasn’t earned anything yet, and I understand the coaching staff has him pegged as the starter. Yet, I’d like to see him play an entire half as he needs as many live action reps as possible.

Big Hit! - Photo via RON SCHWANE/AP PHOTO

Big Hit! – Photo via RON SCHWANE/AP PHOTO

That brings me to the receivers. I think TJ Graham is going to need to be Calvin Johnson-esque from here on out to earn a roster spot. Chris Hogan definitely has a lock on the 3rd (slot) receiver spot and Robert Woods looks like Andre Reed trucking over defenders and being extremely hard to bring down. Watkins, Woods, Hogan and Williams seem to be locks. Marcus Easley continues to play well on special teams, and I think he makes it because of those qualities. We are still waiting for him to turn into the receiver we all hoped he can be with his size and speed, and he’ll get another year to show us. That leaves one, maybe two, WR spots left for six guys to battle for.

Lastly, I’ll talk about the safeties. I think we are just fine despite Byrd’s departure. Duke Williams had some nice open field tackles and one punishing hit on the Giants big running back, Andre Williams. Look for possible nickel packages moving Searcy to LB and playing with both Aaron and Duke Williams as it’ll give the Bills some nice diversity in a pass-happy league.

So what do think? What is your takeaway not only from the game but from anything from this weekend? As always leave me a comment on here or follow me on twitter @Jasonsins and remember Bills fans, it’s just one preseason game. There’s plenty more to be excited about come September!

By: Jason Sinsabaugh

JIm Throws Andre one last pass! - Photo via www.democratandchronicle.com

Jim Throws Andre one last pass! – Photo via http://www.democratandchronicle.com

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Buffalo Bills Preview & Review: Preseason game #2 Already!? | What's Going On In Buffalo? - August 8, 2014

    […] you guys caught my recap article from last week’s game, then you know I was gushing about Landon Cohen, our newly signed Free Agent DT. He was often in […]

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