In a contest that was far, far uglier than the score would indicate, the Denver Broncos defeated the Bills 24-10 Saturday night in a preseason contest. The Bills kicked an early field goal, only to watch the Broncos reel off 24 straight points to put the game away. The second quarter was absolutely ghastly for Buffalo, as the Bills gave up two touchdowns and looked awful on offense.
The passing game on both sides of the ball was a big problem for the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick was out of sorts all night, dealing with constant pressure from the Denver defense thanks to a badly struggling Buffalo offensive line. (OT Demetrius Bell in particular had a brutal night in protection.) Fitzpatrick finished just 6-for-16 passing for 44 yards. He also had an interception that was entirely the fault of WR Marcus Easley, who let what should have been a catch bounce off his hands and into the arms of the Denver defense. Manwhile, Denver quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn carved Buffalo up for 265 yards and two touchdowns. There was no Bills pass rush to be found, and Orton and Quinn took advantage to simply carve up the Bills secondary. CB Leodis McKelvin was a particular target for abuse.
In other bad news, the injury bug hit Buffalo tonight. WR Donald Jones was knocked out after a very hard (and dirty) hit from Broncos safety Rahim Moore, who will likely be getting fined by the NFL soon. RB Johnny White suffered a scary injury on his only carry of the night when his head violently bounced off the turf. He was stretchered out and taken to the hospital for further evaluation. LB Arthur Moats was also banged up and had to leave the game, although his injury doesn’t sound serious.
There were a few bright spots. First-round draft pick Marcell Dareus was a monster, especially in the first quarter. He was dominant. This man is a star in the making. Also, the Bills’ run defense was not terrible. After last year, I’ll take “not terrible.”
For the offense, QB Tyler Thigpen looked much better this week after a tough go of it in Chicago last week. He went 11-for-20 passing for 118 yards with a touchdown pass to WR Felton Huggins. The Bills also ran the ball pretty well, picking up 126 yards on the ground at 5.2 yards per carry.
All in all though, this was pretty ugly. We’ll have a lot more for you in the week ahead.