Buffalo Bills Preseason Game 4 Recap

Bills 14     Buccaneers 27

I thought I was seeing things when the game starts with Tampa kicking off to…Fred Jackson. Yes, Marquise Goodwin was back there as well, but here we go again. I guess it was not a brain freeze by Marrone the week prior in putting C.J. Spiller back there as obviously this is Marrone's plan with Fred now doing it this week.

I am lost!

What is Marrone thinking? Now the oldest running back in the NFL is risking his career by returning kicks. At a time where Fred is one of all our favorites and knows he will be coming in to play as much as possible with C.J. (and Bryce hopefully) at running back, he now needs to be doing this? I feel like I did last week, that this is a huge mistake and it’s now obvious that Marrone wants to continue this which could be the worst thing he could do.

The Game starts with the kick going out of the end zone so we start at the 20. It is critical that Buffalo’s starters show the home fans, that are going crazy with excitement on kids day, that they are ready to perform greatly.

First play has EJ passing nicely to Frank summers, then C.J. runs for only one. On third down EJ throws a nice pass to Goodwin and a flag on Tampa allows for 15 yards and were off to a nice start. Spiller for 4 then...Manuel throws a pass to Chandler, who falls down and the ball is intercepted. He just fell!  Nobody could blame Manuel on that one.

Bucs QB Josh mcCown looks like he wants to destroy us as he comes up to the line.

On first down Nickell Robey continues his fine play and breaks it up. Then Nigel Bradham plows through to stop the Bucs for a loss. On Third and twelve, Corban Bryant sacks McCown who loses the ball, but they recover. It is an excellent start by our defense.

Robey returns the kick a few yards. Jackson then runs for nothing. He gets the call again for 2. On third, EJ now throws to Jackson for only 3. What are the Bills thinking here? I know they do not want to show their playbook but this three and out was ridiculous and the home crowd was not happy!

On the Bucs next possession McCown has to run for his life out of bounds. On second down he is intercepted nicely by Da’Norris Searcy.

The Bills run Jackson for a loss and then EJ passes to Spiller who unbelievably fumbles the ball and the Bucs recover. What the heck is going on here? We look worse than ever!

 Doug Martin

Doug Martin

Bucs running back Doug Martin would put it in gear with a fabulous 13 yard run.

After only a few plays, McCown throws a beauty to Martin and he runs all the way for an apparent 22 yard touchdown. After review the ball is placed on the 1. Easily Martin then runs it in. With a successful extra point, the Bucs lead 7-0. The Buccaneers look good.

The entire Buffalo team now looks terrible.

Our next drive starts with Spiller running for 4 then EJ throws a horrible pass to Eric woods that goes incomplete. On third and six EJ finally finds one of his starting receivers for a nice pass to Mike Williams for a first down.
EJ goes back to Williams but this time throws a non-catchable ball. The Bills are running a no-huddle offense but it is so slow and that totally defeats its purpose. Spiller runs for 1 then EJ gets nailed as he throws another terrible pass to Woods. It’s getting worse and worse to watch!

The Bucs next drive has them moving on our starters with ease. Doug Martin runs two plays and gets a first, then Bucs Receiver Mike Evans catches a beauty for 12.  Our defense finally gets back on track and after a few plays, the Bucs punt.

The Bills next drive can be summed up as total frustration!
First down pass by Manuel is batted down and the crowd is now Booing. Its Kids day and the kids were fine but the adults could now be heard…crying!
CJ tries to save the day with a nice 18 yard catch and run. Maybe just maybe something is about to change. EJ to Williams and it’s a nice 20 yard efficient gain. EJ then to Chandler for 7. Then Spiller does it again, this time running for 18. 
Unfortunately, a flag on Tackle Cordy Glenn and it’s all for naught and were now at first and 30.
Jackson runs for nothing and the first quarter ends.

 Now in the second, EJ looks awful as he throws over the line of scrimmage and with that penalty, we are going backwards!  Its now third and 40! With forty yards needed, EJ throws a 4 yard pass…yes 4 yards to Jackson and we have to punt. It’s an absolute joke! Fans have to be feeling like this team is one of the worst in years!

Our Punter, Brian Moorman does not want to change anything with a 29 yard punt. The kid is Aisle 2 could have punted further!

The Bucs would continue to dominate as their big receivers would now take over.  Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson would both catch balls, then McCown missed one.

Finally Duke Williams and Jerry Hughes stopped their running play and it was third and 14 and the Bills desperately needed a stop. They did and the Bucs were forced to go for a 43 yard field goal which was put right through for a 10-0 lead.

The next series would be a continuation of awful football. It started with penalties then Manuel would be sacked and this time he would lose the ball and the Buccaneers Clinton Mcdonald would return it all the way for a shocking 17-0 beyond comprehension Buccaneer lead.

The Bills seemingly could do nothing.
I actually wanted the backups in!

It would continue as the Bills went three and out on the next series to a chorus of Boos!
Could it get worse?

The Bucs would go down the field like they are playing our backups and with 1:53 to go in the half, Josh McCown throws down the field for a superb 24 yard passing to Mike Evans for another touchdown. With another good extra point it becomes 24 – 0.
After this display, Kids day on this day should have been renamed…adult throw up day!
It was that bad!

This play had CB Ron Brooks getting beaten pretty badly. He has played well in other games but this game had everyone taking turns to look bad.

The Bills would have one more drive before halftime and it would entail another penalty by tackle Eric Pears along with short passes that went nowhere. The Bills left the field to a roar of BOOS that were so emotional, you could feel them!

 EJ Manuel and Mike Glennon

EJ Manuel and Mike Glennon

The Bucs would try to help us with putting their backups in. Actually their QB Mike Glennon who would enter the game, was good friends with EJ Manuel. They both grew up in Virginia and were recruited by many of the same colleges. They were roommates at the elite 11 camp for high school quarterbacks and again two years later as counselors.

The Bills starters would stay out as expected. It would be our starters against the Bucs rookies. As my previous articles have communicated, no this is not fair, but its Kids day right? We need to see points.

The Bills turn it on with some nice plays by Brandon Spikes who was one of the few players playing hard throughout. The Bucs would punt.

 Brandon spikes

Brandon spikes

EJ would now be going against backups and…guess what? Yes, we were now on the move.
It was total control with decent passes and runs culminated by an EJ to Mike Williams 14 yard touchdown and the Bills starters would have their first one for 2014!

With Carpenter’s kick it was 24-7

The Bucs backups could do nothing against our…mostly starters and would go three and out.
Again the Bills would move the ball easily. Fans had something to cheer about as we drove 60 yards on 6 plays finalized by Fred Jackson running 8 yards in for the touchdown. Wow only if it was against their starters!
With Carpenters kick it was now 24-14

The Bucs would again be stopped and go three and out.

Dennis Dixon would now be our quarterback and our backups would finally all come in. EJ would finish the day going 19 of 28 for 198 with 1 TD and 1 interception. He was sacked 4 times too! For the record these stats were padded with him playing against backups.

Dixon was a former backup with the Steelers and Ravens and played so bad in this one that it became comical. On first down he ran 4 yards and fumbles. The Bills recovered. Then Bryce Brown ran for 14 yards. Brown has been averaging 5 yards per carry and is so consistent. I really want to see him playing with our starters.
On first down Dixon threw a terrible pass that went incomplete. He ran again on second for not much. With a third and 13 he ran again and fumbled again! The Bills recovered. On fourth and one, he could not handle the snap and…fumbled. The Bills would recover but lost the ball on downs. 

 Dennis Dixon just prior to fumbling.

Dennis Dixon just prior to fumbling.

Dixon should be known as the fumbling king. I never have seen a football player fumble more in a series. This guy has got to go!

The Bucs would drive on the Bills and get another field goal of 27 yards.
Jeff Tuel would come in and add nothing more to affect the score. 

This was a game to forget. It was awful to say the least. The starters only did well against Tampa’s backups and this has to be addressed. Of positive note Brandon Spikes played hard and rookie Duke Williams had another monster hit, this time on special teams. The Bills play the Detroit Lions next and so much now has to be improved upon with the team looking worse than ever!

Michael Okun
Sports Writer for The Herd Report