Preseason Week 1 Rapid Reaction

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Updated: August 14, 2011
Bills+Bears+Football

First off, we’d like to thank everyone that joined us for tonight’s edition of Buddy Nixon Live! and made it such a great success. Me and Sniper both had a lot of fun doing it and can’t wait until next week’s game @ Denver at 8:30 to do it all again.

Anyway, here are our quick take aways from tonights’ loss to the Bears…

  • I mentioned earlier not to get too worked up about good play from any starters, but two of the Bills’ most important players who were making their debut tonight looked excellent. Shawne Merriman looked, for lack of a better term, ‘lights out’, while Dareus had no ‘welcome to the NFL moment’. In fact, he spent the night re-welcoming some vets to the NFL. It’s important to remember that Chicago has a bad 1st team line and not to get two excited, but it was about as much as you can expect from presumably 2 of our best 3 D players.
  • Overall, our starting D looks bigger and nastier. Andra Davis played with urgency, and our front 7 shifted nicely. Again, PRESEASON, but they just looked more massive and organized, and are creeping towards the defense Buddy envisions.
  • Our d line looked much improved, combining with the OLB units to produce 9 sacks. Buddy has been focusing on front 7 players in the draft, and this game hinted that it might begin to show dividends.
  • On the offensive end of things, the unit looked similar to the second half version of the offense we were introduced to last year. Fitz was generally sharp with a few ‘what the…’ throws, so classic Fitz. Johnson had no problems getting open sans Evans, and Donald Jones stepped in at the starting X position.
  • The starting line generally performed OK, which is far exceeding expectations. Urbik got lit up early, but nothing too egregious from the starting unit…
  • …unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the second team line. Mansfield Wrotto looked confused, Hangartner reminded why he’s the former ‘worst center in the league,’ and Ed Wang looked overmatched, among other things. If no one on the line got hurt it wouldn’t be an issue, but we all know that’s not going to happen, so this could spell trouble like we all thought.
  • Our backup quarterback situation isn’t much better. Thigpen was underwhelming, and missed often on non challenging throws. Brad Smith was similar, but being a traditional passer is not expected of him. Thigpen ran well, but not well enough to alleviate concern’s about accuracy. And Levi Brown looks like he’ll be complaining on twitter about not being invited to the practice squad again this year.
  • Aaron Williams got beat pretty badly and than flagged on the two plays preceding his magnificent interception. Good to see him put those plays behind him.
  • Oh yeah… almost forgot… NO INJURIES!!! A short term sprained ankle or such may turn up in the next day or two, but it’s always a win when you escape preseason games without  a major injury.
All in all not a bad first showing from the Buffalo Bills, despite only scoring 3 points.