After watching Buffalo’s dress rehearsal, the Bills clearly need a lot of practice before “opening night.” There’s no way to sugarcoat this, Buffalo was outplayed in every aspect of the game in their 30-7 loss to the Redskins.
Offensively, the Bills passed for 79 yards against the Redskins. It’s time to pump the brakes on the Jeff Tuel for starting quarterback train. While the rookie has a great skill set, he was clearly in over his head against the Redskins.
Kevin Kolb’s day was much shorter as he only attempted four passes. Kolb deserves some credit for leading Buffalo to their only points of the game. Kolb showed some mobility against the Redskins, which unfortunately led to concussion-like symptoms. On the tail end of Kolb’s second run, a Redskins player connected with Kolb’s helmet. Buffalo will need to have either EJ Manuel or Kevin Kolb ready for Week 1 against the Patriots.
In the run game, C.J. Spiller scored the only touchdown of the game before making every Bills fan nervous. Spiller grabbed his knee after the play and needed medical attention. Luckily, he was declared “OK” by the team and even returned to the game.
The receiving game never really took off on Saturday afternoon as only six players caught a pass. Stevie Johnson led the way with four receptions for 28 yards.
Defensively, the team was sloppy against the run and pass. Buffalo struggled greatly in coverage on Saturday. The Redskins seemed to find their most success in the air through slant patterns. The entire secondary needs work and cannot have Jairus Byrd back soon enough. It’s rumored that Buffalo has entertained trade offers for Byrd, but after today’s game, the team should let inquiries for Byrd go to voicemail.
Sadly, the team fared even worse against the run. Buffalo gave up a total of 208 rush yards to the Redskins. Buffalo didn’t seem as aggressive on Saturday, but the performance is still very worrisome.
It is just the preseason, but today’s game showed us that there will certainly be some growing pains with such a young team.
From start to near finish in the fourth quarter, this has been an ugly game for the Buffalo Bills. With Kevin Kolb leaving early due to injury, the Bills’ offense has found no rhythm whatsoever with Jeff Tuel leading the way at quarterback. Defensively, the Bills have still been able to bring some pressure from their defensive front seven, but the secondary has continued to struggle. While we will do our best to find the positives in our postgame coverage, they have been far outweighed by the negatives — from injuries to poor plays — in this contest.
Redskins 30 – Bills 7
Buffalo had the Redskins stopped on fourth and short, but Chris Thompson was able to wiggle away and help Washington score another touchdown.
Redskins 23 – Bills 7
The comedy of errors continued for the Bills with Nickell Robey muffing a punt. With a short field the Redskins were unable to punch the ball in for a touchdown after Arthur Moats read a shovel pass beautifully. On the drive, Marcus Dowtin suffered an injury.
Until EJ Manuel and Kevin Kolb are back to being healthy (and/or the Bills sign a free-agent quarterback), Jeff Tuel is the only healthy quarterback on the roster, and is therefore the starting quarterback by default. Tuel hasn’t done much yet today, however, to make believers out of people who would be rightfully skeptical of an undrafted rookie starting at quarterback in Week 1.
Tuel has completed eight of his first 12 pass attempts, but for only 49 yards. He simply hasn’t been able to make the plays needed to build a drive yet in this game through the middle of the third quarter.
The Bills’ second-team defense has stepped up early in the second half, making plays in the backfield and forcing two punts on two drives thus far. They have three sacks and a forced fumble in the past two drives, though the forced fumble was not recovered. Pat White quarterbacked the first drive for the Redskins, while Rex Grossman quarterbacked the second.
Injury News: Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com just announced on Twitter that Stephon Gilmore is out of the game with a wrist injury.
Jerry Hughes and Duke Williams notch back-to-back sacks for the Bills on Redskins quarterback Pat White.
Halftime Score: Redskins 20, Bills 7
The focus has unfortunately been on injuries today, and the Buffalo Bills haven’t played much better on the field. Of the players who have been on the field, however, the most impressive player has been starting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
Dareus has been consistently disruptive, and has done a great job in forcing the Redskins to settle for field goals on two of their downfield drives. On the Redskins’ second drive, Dareus made a run stop for a 1-yard tackle for loss in the red zone, then two plays later, brought pressure off of a stunt on third down to force an incompletion. On the Redskins’ final series of the half, Dareus made a 2-yard tackle for loss by sliding out left and into the path of Redskins running back Roy Helu, then on the next play, he split two blockers up the middle and hit quarterback Pat White as he threw to force an incompletion.
Injury Update: Da’Norris Searcy is getting looked at in the locker room. The injury has not been disclosed.
Redskins 20 – Bills 7
The Redskins added three more points with a 53-yard Kai Forbath field goal.
UPDATE: Cornerback Stephon Gilmore is being tested for a head injury, while safety Da’Norris Searcy is getting tests on his head, according to Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo.
UPDATE: The Bills came into this game very healthy, but are having a really rough day of injury concerns. Per tweets from Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and free safety Da’Norris Searcy have both walked back to the locker room.
Redskins 17 – Bills 7
The Redskins marched the ball down the field against Buffalo, mostly on the ground. Pat White scored the touchdown for the Redskins. The Bills aren’t looking sharp defensively as they’ve had issues in the passing game, against the run and with penalties.
UPDATE: Quarterback Kevin Kolb is out of the game due to concussion-like symptoms, according to the Bills’ official Twitter account. The injury leaves undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel as the Bills’ only healthy quarterback remaining in this game.
Buffalo was moving the ball down the field, but Stevie Johnson fumbled the ball after a reception while trying to get a few extra yards.
UPDATE: C.J. Spiller is back in the game. This is a good sign for Spiller and the Bills as he is clearly healthy, but we would advise against continuing him to play in this game (or in the preseason at all). The Bills and everyone who watches them already know what the team has in Spiller. Why risk a serious injury now?
UPDATE: Kolb is getting his head looked at in the locker room. On his second run, Kolb was hit in the head by a Redskins player towards the end of the play.
Kevin Kolb is out of the game and Jeff Tuel is in. This is unusual as the starting quarterback generally plays at least one half. During Buffalo’s touchdown drive, Kolb came up a bit lame on his second run. We’ll give you an update as soon as any news is provided.
UPDATE: The Bills’ official Twitter account tweeted that running back C.J. Spiller is “OK.” This comes as a huge relief for the Bills, who certainly could not have afforded to lose their best offensive player.
Redskins 10 – Bills 7
The Redskins drove down the field for three points after Stephon Gilmore let what appeared to be an easy interception fall right out of his hands. Not a great showing for Buffalo’s defense thus far.
Bills 7 – Redskins 7
Buffalo looked as though they were going to go three and out on offense, but a facemask penalty extended the drive. Kevin Kolb didn’t do anything spectacular through the air, but was efficient passing and running the ball. C.J. Spiller ran the ball in for a short touchdown before grabbing his knee his pain.
Spiller tried to get up but needed to get attention from the medical staff. Eventually, Spiller was able to get up and walk off the field without a limp.
The play of the secondary has been one of the biggest points of the concern for the Buffalo Bills this preseason, and they continued to struggle on their first defensive series of the game. First of all, nickel cornerback Ron Brooks could have ended the drive with an interception, but dropped the ball right off of his hands. Later in the series, the Bills gave up a 31-yard deep ball up the left side to Redskins tight end Fred Davis, in large due to strong safety Aaron Williams being out of position in zone coverage. The Bills’ best defensive back, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, was beaten on a 7-yard inside slant for a touchdown.
Redskins 7 – Bills 0
Rex Grossman and the Redskins offense made it look easy against the Bills on their first drive. The 10 play drive ended in a touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon.
Kolb starts the drive by throwing a deep pass to T.J. Graham. The ball was off-target but a pass interference penalty moved the ball downfeld.
The Bills went three-and-out following the play. On third down, Kolb practically ran into a sack when he didn’t need to.
UPDATE: Although Jairus Byrd is not listed as inactive, he is not in uniform for the Buffalo Bills today, according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com.
Per the Bills’ official Twitter account, there are only three inactive players for the Bills today: quarterback EJ Manuel, linebacker Kourtnei Brown and offensive tackle Chris Hairston. That means that free safety Jairus Byrd is active today, though according to the tweet, Da’Norris Searcy will get the start at free safety.