I would say after watching the first quarter, many Bills fans were left smacking their heads against the nearest wall. Things did not start out pretty tonight, but in the end the game was a decent one overall. There are a few positives to take away from tonight, like any game.
For a good portion of the first quarter I was fully expecting to write an article that started with the sentence, “lets face it, the Bills looked terrible tonight.” The defense, who looked excellent stopping the run last week, could not stop Vikings running back Toby Gerhart. The pass rush did look better (with sacks from Kyle Williams and Dareus) but Minnesota started the game with a long drive for a touchdown. The linebackers and secondary left much to be desired tonight.
For almost the entirety of the first team offense’s time they struggled as well. The one bright spot was the scoring drive, where Fitzpatrick picked up a good amount of his 58 yards on the night. It was capped off by a nice 31 yard touchdown by Donald Jones who showed his speed and route running abilities.
As a Bills fan, the most exciting part of last night’s game was the play of Vince Young. It was thought that the backup QB spot could be sealed tonight, and in my eyes it was. Young looked on target and much more in control than he did against Washington. He led a scoring drive highlighted by a 60 yard pass play to T.J. Graham, one that showed off his incredible arm. This is a physical specimen that Buffalo cannot pass on. He finished the night 8 of 14 for 123 yards.
On the other side of the quarterback battle, Tyler Thigpen didn’t look too bad either. He suffered from many of his passes being dropped, but they were right on target. A much better showing for him than last week as well, but he just doesn’t have the upside to compete with Vince Young when Young is at his best.
T.J. Graham had an excellent game tonight, leading the team with 69 yards catching. He’s proved in the past two games that not only is he fast, he does has the skills to be an NFL wide receiver as well. Its a good sign for a player that had some question marks. With coaching he should only get better as the year goes along.
The highlight on defense for me tonight was cornerback Ron Brooks. The fourth round pick out of LSU has looked impressive in his first two games with some really tight coverage. It impressed me how physical he can be without getting into trouble with pass interference penalties. The Bills may have found a real steal in Brooks. I think there’s no question he has a spot on the roster right now.
I think its about time we start talking about John Potter. I know, I know. Kickers aren’t the most exciting position on the team. But Potter has looked excellent all preseason, getting a touchback on every single kickoff. Does the team make a spot on the roster to keep both Potter and Lindell? I’d at least consider it.
At the end of the day you have to disregard the final score, as the game was 16-14 before the last few minutes. The game does leave many fans worried, but the Bills showed signs of being that team we hope they will be this year. There are bright spots, and that’s what you should be focusing on in these preseason exhibition matches. After tonight’s game, are you scared going forward? Tell me how you feel in the comment section below!