As I sit down to write this, midway through the third quarter, I want to keep telling myself “It’s only pre-season…it’s just the first game,” but these guys out there look like they are scared to play the game of football. I’m keeping faith in the idea that tomorrow, Gailey, Edwards, and DeHaven are going to lay the verbal wood to these guys in the film room. I hope it sets in, because this is disgusting to watch.
The first pre-season game is always sloppy, there’s always myriad kinks to work out, but I simply can’t believe how bad we’ve looked. A lot of it, right now, has to do with who’s in at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the most un-inspiring signal callers in the game. He looks bored out there, like he’d rather be anywhere else, and his timing and effort are nowhere near the level that they should be at for a professional football player.
A slight aside here, I know it’s preseason for them, too, but this announcing crew is awful. Mike Catalana is on the sideline, and as Fitzpatrick entered the game, he praised him for how “great” of a camp that Ryan is having. Let this be known right now, Ryan Fitzpatrick has played so awful in camp that it’s a surprise that he’s still in the running to be wearing an NFL jersey in 2010. It was mostly his doing that Easley and Huggins were hurt as he was dogging it in 11 on 11’s and leaving them out in unsafe territory to get hurt. More about this crew, Ray Bentley and Steve Tasker are making it clear that this isn’t their day job. “It was truly a great idea for Fitzpatrick to throw that pass to Nelson on that one,” this came from Bentley following the first touchdown by Buffalo late in the third. Seems like it’d always be a great idea for any quarterback in any league to throw the ball to the guy standing totally uncovered in the endzone. Maybe it’s just one writer’s standpoint, but scoring points seem like the objective of this game. “John McCargo, a first-round pick in Nineteen-ninety…errr 2006,” another Bentley gem. By the way, for those of you unfamiliar with professional sports broadcasts, these guys have sheets of information in front of them that will tell them, at a glance, where McCargo played high school ball, his birthday, stats for his sophomore year in college… everything. It’s all on the announcer to utilize the tools given to him.
Anyways, back to the game. Not all of it has been bad play from the Bills. I, admittedly, didn’t get to start watching until the last five minutes or so of the second quarter, but I’ve already seen two blatant blown calls. On the 77-yard Washington punt return, there was a terribly obvious block in the back that would have turned that play over that was just never called. On the Chad Simpson run that set up our first touchdown? He never went out, definitely not at the five, and the line judge who was standing right there blew the call.
:: Bright spots tonight ::
– WR #86 David Nelson – Nelson, who had the touchdown grab that got the ball rolling in the second half, has had an impressive night. He followed up the wide-open grab with a crushing block on the kickoff following the score.
– HB #35 Joique Bell – Bell scored the second touchdown, and had some decent plays outside of that. Looked good in block duty as well.
– P #8 Brian Moorman – Saw way more action than he should have, but still had some decent punts. Not as good as he was a few years back, but still one of the best players on the team.
– OLB #93 Chris Ellis – Had a few solid tips in coverage and was a delightful surprise out there. No huge plays, but at the same time, wasn’t a disappointment.
Overall, the game was a disappointment. The reserves started playing well later on, but I would have like to see some decent play earlier on. Maybin had a nice spin move for a sack on Beck in the 4th, and Roosevelt had a few nice plays when he touched the ball, but outside of that, the game was a disgrace. Seeing Levi Brown in late was nice, would have been nice to see him get a bit more time, but maybe later in this preseason.
We lost our top two runningbacks to currently unknown injuries for unknown periods of time – I’ll update you as soon as I hear more. Also, may have lost rookie DE Alex Carrington to injury as well. Sounds like a hand injury for Jackson, ankle for Lynch. 42-17 final, and we have a lot of work to do. We’ve got a short week, so I’ll see you guys Thursday night when we play the Colts in Toronto. Enjoy your week and keep your chins up – it’s just preseason…it’s just the first game.
(EDIT: Jackson has been declared to be out for at least the rest of pre-season, likely more, and Lynch is also set for a lengthy period without playing. Though I wish it were under better circumstances, we’re going to see a lot of Spiller and Bell coming up.)