1.) Tuel’s Grasp of The Offense
Buffalo Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel has been named the starter heading into the final preseason game against the Detroit Lions this week. Tuel has shown considerable progress as an undrafted rookie competing for the third quarterback spot behind EJ Manuel & Kevin Kolb. With their absence, Tuel has the chance to show what he can do against a young and aggressive Detroit defense. Tuel has the arm & the offensive tools to do so, whether or not he will make things happen with the starting offense will have to be seen Thursday night.
2.) Wide Receiver Chemistry
Stevie Johnson is working to get back into season form as he looks to improve from last game’s performance. Robert Woods, T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin are no strangers to Tuel at quarterback; it will be interesting to see how the offensive rhythm develops with Tuel at center. Something tells me that Tuel will be more open to taking chances and making mistakes than EJ Manuel this preseason. With his touch and accuracy, the wideouts should be able to give the Detroit defensive backs a run for their money.
3.) Defensive Backfield
Stephon Gilmore will be out for at least half of the regular season; this means that the starting cornerback position is up for grabs. Crezdon Butler has been playing consistently enough to earn reps with the first team defense. Justin Rogers looks to make a splash on defense with his return, but all eyes will be on Jairus Byrd as he returns to the Buffalo Bills franchise and looks to get back to football form. This group will need to shine against this Lions offense; Calvin Johnson will be a handful but the rest of their receiving corp is weak and lacks the confidence to make plays. It will be a good test to see if our defensive backfield can take over the game or break under the pressure.
4.) Mental Toughness
Injuries can kill even the most star-studded teams; The Buffalo Bills are not an exception. The injury to Gilmore can become a problem if no one steps up to the plate. Also, people seem to forget how bad the Redskins were before RGIII, the Buffalo Bills romped them late in the season. But people forget this and it seemed the Buffalo Bills did too, as they seemed to be one step behind the Redskins. The Buffalo Bills need to up their game and take it up a notch with their mental toughness. The Bills have always been a decent team, they can beat a bad team but they play a good or great team and they fold like paper. They are going to have to be able to compete with good teams, especially in the AFC East, if they want to get anywhere this season.
5.) Roster Moves