Doug Marrone made a return to New Orleans to face the Saints. (Photo: Brad Mills — USA Today Sports)
BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Bills lost 35-17 to the Saints to fall to 3-5, but the team challenged New Orleans. Drew Brees’ stat-line looks impressive, as he went 26-of-34 for 332 yards and five touchdowns. That said, Buffalo’s defense made Brees uncomfortable as he was sacked four times during the game and pressured consistently.
Even in the face of pressure, Brees made impressive throws that moved the chains or in many cases, went for touchdowns. Brees is a franchise quarterback in the NFL and simply played like one today.
In terms of run defense, the Bills stuffed New Orleans for the majority of the game. This is one positive the Bills can take from the game.
It’s never great to give up 35 points, but one score came on a blown coverage, a second on a deep prayer and their first touchdown came after Thad Lewis’ second fumble in Buffalo territory. Overall, the defense impressed me today and a lot of the mistakes they made can be corrected.
Offensively, Thad Lewis made too many mistakes for the Bills to win, but as wrestling announcer Jim Ross would say, “He’s tougher than a $2 steak.” Lewis took multiple hard hits, including two to his helmet. After the first play of the game, I personally believed that Lewis would not be returning. Lewis took a hard shot to the ribs and stayed down for a while following the play. Thad Lewis isn’t a long-term answer at starter, as that’s E.J. Manuel’s job, but he’s one heck of a backup quarterback going forward.
Lewis isn’t the only tough player on Buffalo’s offense. Both Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson played through pain today and deserve to be praised for their efforts. Other players that stood out today were Marquise Goodwin who showed off great hands and Scott Chandler who had a very up and down day. In terms of receiving, Chandler played well, but his blocking led to a free shot on Lewis as well as a holding call that negated a touchdown.
Up next for the Bills are the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Mark it down folks, if C.J. Spiller plays, the Bills beat the Chiefs next week.