Sep 7, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) reacts after kicker Dan Carpenter (2) kicks the game winning field goal in overtime at Soldier Field. Buffalo Bills defeat the Chicago Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Well Bills fans, week 1 is in the books and the Bills are 1-0. Great right? Yes and No. Don’t get me wrong, I am more than thrilled that the Bills won yesterday and against the Chicago Bears. This game was pegged by a lot as a Bears win so the upset is a good start to the season.
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Yesterday, the Bills played OK, just enough to win. Lets start with the defense. The better group on the field by far between them and the offense. The defense was able to get to Jay Cutler and create pressure and turnovers. Buffalo had a couple of sacks and fittingly, it started with Mario Williams. What concerned me on the defense was the pass coverage that seemed to be lacking for most of the game except for the 2 interceptions that came from Corey Graham and Kyle Williams. There should have been more though, Leodis McKelvin dropped one in overtime that could have sealed the deal earlier, but minus those times, the pass coverage looked a little laxed. That needs to be tightened up. I also noticed that Preston Brown, yes being in his first game the anticipation and excitement will be running high, but he did have a couple of over-pursuits that need to be reigned in as well. Nigel Bradham comes back next week, and I like Brown but as a back up this year and in certain situational times of the game. The defense also allowed 427 net yards for the game. Not too great.
The offense definitely had it’s ups and downs in the game. EJ Manuel had a turnover and the run game took a little bit to get going. Although using a running back by committee with Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, and Anthony Dixon, the Bills were able to pound 193 yards on the ground of their 360 total yards. Manuel also had some issues with his accuracy but was able to use his feet to tie the game up early 7-7. Robert Woods, on more than one occasion saved Manuel and his accuracy issues to keep drives going. These are things that you don’t see in the stat box. I think overall that it was also an OK performance by the offense and it can get a lot better and will need to if they want to have a chance at making the playoffs and even going worst to first in the AFC East.
Overall it was an OK game by the Bills. They were able to move the ball and stop the Bears when they had too, and they played better than the Chicago Bears, but there are definitely some loose ends that need to be tied up. The penalty situation, caused a couple of drives to stall out and when you have 9 penalties in a game that account to 108 yards, this area needs to be corrected and quickly. Penalties will not help you to win games.