Who’s excited for some Bills football? Follow along with us all night as we watch the preseason opener!
0:00 – Shockingly, the clock runs out before Brown’s two-minute drill gets anywhere. That’s the ballgame. Final: Bears 10, Bills 3.
1:00 – Levi Brown tries the innovative “throw the ball two yards down the center of the field when you have no timeouts” two-minute drill. It’s not going well.
1:41 – The Bears shank the easy field goal! Buffalo’s still in it!
1:46 – On third down, Heard comes straight through the line and nails the QB for Buffalo’s ninth sack of the night. This guy has talent.
1:56 – On first and goal, Robert Eddins again busts through the line and drills the ballcarrier in the backfield. Could this guy be a darkhorse to make the team? I’ve already seen more from him than I’ve ever seen from Aaron Maybin.
3:00 – Big DT Kellen Heard shoves his blocker a few yards into the backfield and disrupts the Bears RB, who is stuffed for a loss. Wow. For all the Michael Jasper hype, Kellen Heard could be the project DT who actually makes the team.
3:45 – The Bears have really dominated this second half on the ground. Another easy first down.
5:29 – Brown actually has time, but throws it directly to a Bears defender. Really bad night for Brown tonight. It’s gonna be tough for him to make this team.
5:38 – Somehow the Bears manage to break into the backfield before Brown can even throw a quick out to the sideline. This line isn’t slowing anyone down.
5:42 – Let’s see if the end of the Buffalo bench can muster up some late offense here. Not off to a good start, as Levi Brown way underthrows his intended target.
5:47 – The Bears kick a field goal. That was a long drive featuring the Bears rushing for some easy yards. Bears 10, Bills 3
6:30 – Undrafted rookie LB Robert Eddins gets a sack on third down. Eddins has been turning up a lot in practice reports; seems like he has some pass rush skills. We’ll see if he can keep playing well.
8:45 – Fourth-and-short…and the Bears go for it. Someone on the Bills D-line gets totally blown up, and the Bears convert.
11:30 – 390-pound DT Michael Jasper on a tackle. For the sake of our blog’s traffic, let’s hope he makes the team.
12:30 – Bears RB Kahlil Bell is murdering the Bills tonight. The Bills third string D can’t seem to stop him.
14:50 – Nesbitt gets another shot and almost gets a first down on a third-and-five despite the whole stadium knowing he was going to run it himself. He could make the team…if Brad Smith gets hurt. Don’t see the need for another Wildcat guy.
15:00 – Brown comes back in at QB. It doesn’t go well.
0:20 – Same play, only a little less successful. This is a freaking high school offense right now. Just snap it to the fast guy and watch him run. That’s the end of the quarter. Bears 7, Bills 3 after three quarters.
0:45 – Interesting, as undrafted rookie QB Josh Nesbitt is in the game. Nesbitt lines up in the shotgun and takes off on a designed run, gaining 20 yards.
0:50 – Just like that, Williams makes up for his past mistakes. He comes down with a very good interception on a tipped ball. That was a very athletic play.
1:45 – Another Danny Batten sack. Excellent. That’s seven for the Bills tonight.
2:10 - And now Williams gets beat again, and has to interfere. Ugly sequence for the young corner.
2:20 – A very rare big play, as the Bears hit a deep pass. I think rookie Aaron Williams got beat on the play. I’ll have to check the tape later.
4:12 – Two poor runs and a bad Levi Brown pass later, and the Bills are punting again. Forrest gets this one off and the Bills actually cover it decently.
5:45: Rookie Reid Forrest comes in for his first NFL punt…and gets “run into” for a penalty. Nice acting job there, Mr. Forrest. First down Bills.
7:30 – Still nowhere for Johnny White to run.
7:45 – Another Naaman Roosevelt first down. Man can play.
8:40 – Levi Brown now in at QB for the Bills. He needs a good game today if he wants to stay employed.
9:00 – Speaking of Carrington, there he is getting a sack. This man is big, strong, and fast. The Bills have been trying him out as a rush OLB…very interesting.
10:oo – DT Torell Troup knocks down a pass. Kudos to Troup for playing through a broken bone in his hand. Steve Tasker is talking about how well Troup and Alex Carrington are playing in camp. Let’s hope he’s right. That’d be a big boost if those guys step up and play well.
11:00 – Bills D-line getting dominated right now. Bears are rolling down the field.
13:00 - Danny Batten overpowers a running back and nails the QB for a sack. I’m very high on Batten. We’ll see if he can get on the field this year.
15:00 – Keep an eye on the field itself this half. Apparently the Soldier Field grass is in awful shape.
There was a lot to like in that first half. Shawne Merriman’s performance was obviously the big highlight, as he was fantastic. The Bills getting a pass rush from him could make a huge difference. Marcell Dareus also looked good.
Offensively, it wasn’t fantastic, but with the limited practice time there’s not much to worry about yet. Brad Smith was fun and looked good in the Wildcat.
On the bad side, the backup O-line is a mess. Mansfield Wrotto looked pretty horrible in particular, but no one was good. Also, backup QB Tyler Thigpen didn’t look great. Obviously he hasn’t practiced much and the line in front of him stinks, so we’ll see how he improves throughout the preseason.
Another troubling issue: the coverage units. A big punt and kickoff return given up.
0:04 – The Bears miss a long field goal, and that will end the half. Bears 7, Bills 3 at halftime.
0:15 – Rookie linebacker Chris White just made a nice play, chasing Bears WR Earl Bennett 35 yards downfield and then helping break up a pass by just nailing Bennett. Good stuff.
0:34 – The Bills give up another long return, this time on a punt. Pretty poor special teams effort thus far.
0:42 – They can’t do much. Two awful throws by Thigpen, and then Mansfield Wrotto gets his doors blown off by a Bears defender who drills Thigpen. Pretty freaking ugly two-minute drill there.
1:13 – After a nice sack by Spencer Johnson, the Bears have to punt. Let’s see what the Bills do here at the end of the half.
1:45 – The Bills hold the Bears to a short gain on first down, and Chan Gailey calls a timeout. I like it. I know it’s the preseason, but let’s get the ball back and get a two-minute drill in.
1:50 – Brian Moorman pounds his punt into the endzone. I really hope Moorman’s relatively poor 2010 season was a fluke. He’s my all-time favorite Bill, and being forced to hope the Bills cut him would be pretty tough on me.
2:09 – I’ll say this for Tyler Thigpen – he’s quick and he can get away from a pass rush. The offensive line just got completely blown up on that play, but Thigpen sprinted away and got out of bounds.
3:11 – Not a good showing for the backup O-line in the run game. Johnny White has had nowhere to run, and Cordaro Howard just got called for holding.
4:20 – Naaman Roosevelt makes a tough catch in traffic for a first down. No wonder Gailey loves this guy.
4:37 – Buster Davis drops what should have been a first down. Not what he needs if he’s going to make this team.
6:00 – Back-to-back nice runs by QBs Tyler Thigpen and Brad Smith. I really like what the team is doing with Smith thus far.
7:07 – That was an ugly throw by Brad Smith. He’s definitely a work in progress.
8:07 – Bears QB Caleb Hanie scrambles in for an easy 2-yard touchdown. I’m going to blame (I think) Andra Davis, who appears to simply drift away from Hanie to cover…no one. I’ll have to check that on tape later. Bears 7, Bills 3
9:00 - I know it’s preseason, but you actually have to try to tackle, Drayton Florence. Marion Barber just ran Florence over to get to the 5-yard-line.
11:00 – Here’s a sequence of three plays for the Bears: Big rushing gain, stop for loss by Kyle Williams, big rushing gain. Just like last season. Ugh.
12:00 – The Bills starting offense is still in for the most part.
12:45 – Mansfield Wrotto misses a block and RB Johnny White is nailed behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. The backup O-linemen scare the crap out of me.
13:30 - Brad Smith in at QB for third and short…and he picks up the first down running out of the Wildcat. Safe to say we’ll see that a lot this season.
15:00 – Second team offense is now in for the most part. Tyler Thigpen at QB.
0:00 – The Bears have to punt, and that’s the quarter. A lot to like thus far!
0:30 – Holy crap! Shawne Merriman just recorded back-to-back sacks! GET HIM OUT OF THE GAME NOW BEFORE HE GETS HURT!
1:50 – Lindell is apparently the only kicker in the league who CAN’T blast it into the endzone on kickoffs now. That’s a bit of a disadvantage. Johnny Knox returns the kick a long way, only getting s
2:oo – Rian Lindell connects on a long field goal. 3-0 Bills.
2:30 – The Bills set up a beautiful little screen play on third down…and C.J. Spiller runs directly into a defender’s arms for no reason. That pretty well sums up his Bills career thus far.
3:00 – Two straight completions to new TE Scott Chandler. That’s good to see.
4:00 – Donald Jones blatantly shoves a cornerback in the back…and acts surprised when he gets called for a pass interference. Brilliant.
5:00 – Some more technical difficulties on my end…but the Bills offense is clicking right now. Nice.
9:30 – Marcell Dareus is ENORMOUS. And he gets his first sack, bulling through two guys for a sack. I’m in love.
11:00 – The Bills get a pass rush…only to see Cutler escape it for a first down. Ugh. I think I hate that kind of play more than any other.
12:30 – Expect to see a lot of wide receiver screens this year. Lots of young, quick receivers.
14:05 – Due to technical difficulties I missed the first few plays…but I turn in just as Stevie Johnson hauls in a first down! Nice! That’s how to start a season.
Pregame: Man, is it good to be sitting down to watch the Bills play. Back in July I wasn’t sure this was ever going to happen. Let’s hope for a fun and injury-free game tonight.