Friday, August 31, 2012
Observation deck: Bills-Lions
By James Walker
The Buffalo Bills (0-4) completed a winless preseason with a 38-32 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Here are some notes and observations:
What I liked: The first-team offense handled its business. Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was 5-for-5 for 39 yards and a touchdown pass to receiver Steve Johnson to start the game. Tailback C.J. Spiller also ran the ball well, gaining 28 yards on six carries. It was a short night for the starters but a way to end the preseason on a good note. Receiver Marcus Easley also showed up on special teams with an impressive 100-yard kickoff return. Easley added a 20-yard reception.
What we didn’t like: Buffalo’s depth on defense is not appealing. For the second week in a row, another team's backups scored points in bunches against Buffalo's backup defenders. This might not look like much now, but if the Bills have an injury or two to some key players on defense, I'm not sure the depth is there to keep the train moving. Buffalo has allowed 76 points in the past two weeks, and a majority have come once the starters are off the field.
A little "T. Jax": Newly acquired backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson did not play until late Thursday night. The Bills coaching staff determined he didn't have enough practice time to run the offense more. Still, Jackson got in for one series and threw one pass, which was intercepted. It's too early to grade Jackson with so little practice time. But it would've been nice for the Bills to see more what he brings before the real games count.
What’s next: The Bills will travel to play the New York Jets on Sept. 9 in a huge regular-season opener for both teams. The Jets swept the Bills in two games last season.