Buffalo Bills Preseason Game 1 Recap

Bills 13   Giants 17

We all know how exciting preseason football is to watch. At about halftime, it’s as much fun as watching a turtle walk around aimlessly with no destination in mind!

But we are Buffalo Bills fans and we painfully watch most of the game (have to be honest) as we are so hungry to see our team look good and yes, win. Did I say win? Marv Levy did not give a hoot about the preseason and played our stars sparingly to say the least. He knew what we had and just wanted to see and evaluate our rookies. Doug Marrone actually told the press how upset he was at not winning our first preseason game. This was strange to hear as he took our starters out one series earlier than the Giants.

This Hall Of Game starts with our starting offense having 5 plays then having to punt. EJ Manuel looked at times like Doug Flutie with having his passes knocked down twice in only 2 series of play. This looked worrisome as he could not get the ball to our new rookie sensation, Sammy Watkins.

During the Giants first possession, Eli Manning went back to pass and Kyle Williams was like a madman as he sacked him which resulted in a fumble recovery by Keith Rivers, The Bills starters then drove down the field on six plays which had EJ completing only 2 -7 passes for 19 yards. This was where two balls were batted down. The Bills would rely on Dan Carpenter, who nailed a field goal and that would be it for our beloved starters. The Giants first two offensive drives against our starters resulted in only 11 total net yards with a sack and forced fumble. Our defense looked real good. 

But then our coach decided to put our backups in and Giants coach, Tom Coughlin decided to keep his starters in. This would be the time this game looked like an unfair match with the Giants moving the ball at will. This 12 play 80-yard drive was extremely tough to watch and had me yelling at Marrone hoping he could hear me wanting to get our starters back in! I know its preseason but even the Giants coach knew he was playing against backups and kept the pedal to the metal! Sure seemed like Marrone did not want to win! That is how he planned on starting this game? That drive had the Giants easily scoring on a three yard touchdown by starter Andre Williams. With this 7 -3 lead the Giants then decided to put in their backups and now it became what I would call a fair game.

Jeff Tuel looked good for us and helped the Bills re-take the lead on a fourth and goal pass to one of my favorites, Robert Woods. Woods looks so confident in only his second year and I believe he will now be part of the best receiving corps along with Mike Williams and Sammy Watkins. There are more receivers fighting for a spot and I would love to see Chris Hogan join this crew as he is a slot receiver who is so talented and tough to cover. 

The game was tied when the Giants scored on a 47-yard field goal by Brandon McManus with five minutes remaining in the first half. This was a very good game now and it became even better at halftime with the touching story on Jim Kelly at halftime. Buffalo scored the only points in the third quarter with a phenomenal 51-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter to make it 13-10.

Quarterback Ryan Nassib had struggled for most of the game but looked good with an awesome 73 yard pass to rookie Corey Washington to make it 17-13 with only 13 minutes remaining. The game would go back and forth with no more scoring and preseason game one was over. 

There were some very good plays including Marcus Easley who continued his great special teams play like last year. In this one Marcus was great as he blocked a punt in the second quarter.

DT Landon Cohen had a pair of sacks in the second half and was responsible for a very cool tackle that resulted in a loss for the Giants, 

Jeff Tuel looked sharp going 12-17 for 74 yards with a touchdown and an interception off a tipped pass.

Second year safety, Duke Williams looks like he is going to be special! He was picked 105th in the fourth round in 2013 and with Byrd now gone, look out! When he hits someone they go down like they ran into a stone wall. He had one of those hits in this game and it was awesome! I have seen him in college at the University of Nevada where he played for the Nevada WolfPack team and he was attacking the same way back then. You simply cannot teach a player to hit this hard where it is so natural. Watch Williams and you will see him destroy his opponent then walk away like he just won a 10 round fight.

 Duke Williams

Duke Williams

I also like Bryce Brown and am so happy that he is now a running back for our Buffalo Bills. C.J. Spiller can be awesome at times but then average due to his injuries. Fred Jackson is our warrior and is a rock for us as a player and teammate.

Now we have Bryce Brown! Brown came from Philadelphia where they will say he is talented but has a fumbling problem. He did and one display of this that hurt him real bad was in 2012 against the Dallas Cowboys where Bryce had a monster of a game rushing for 169 yards with two touchdowns.

But everyone in Philly only remembers him fumbling late in the fourth quarter and seeing Dallas player Morris Claiborne returning the fumble 50-yards for the deciding score in the game. 

Brown was drafted by Philadelphia in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL draft. His start was amazing and on display for a national audience on Monday Night Football where Philadelphia starter, LeSean Mccoy could not play because of post-concussion symptoms. It was November 26, 2012 against the Carolina Panthers and Bryce Brown debut himself with over 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone. This included a sixty-five yard touchdown run. He finished the game with an astounding 178 yards rushing on 19 carries, 2 touchdowns and 4 receptions. The 178 yards was an Eagle record. Ok, I do need to note that he had 2 fumbles too!

 Bryce Brown

Bryce Brown

Buffalo Traded for him on May 10, 2014 and I believe if he can stop fumbling, he could be our starter very soon. In this game Brown ran with meaning looking as good as he ever did. Oh yea…no fumble in this one! At only 23 years old this could be one of those huge trades that make us so much better for so very long!

Right now Buffalo has the makings of one of the best receiving corps and the same can be said about our running backs. We are headed in the right direction!

I hope we see our starters play more in our second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. EJ Manuel needs to show us that he has improved to be the quarterback that we so desperately need.

Michael Okun

Sports Writer for The Herd Report