Photo courtesy of my buddy Ryne McCord, who got to witness this madness firsthand.
Last night, the Buffalo Bills played their first preseason game at home against the Washington Redskins. Both of these teams came in with high expectations- the Bills signed Mark Anderson and Mario Williams in the offseason and re-signed Stevie Johnson and Fred Jackson. The Redskins, under new QB Robert Griffin III, have hopefully solved their questions on offense, signing WR Pierre Garcon during the offseason and drafting Griffin.
1. The Defense looked amazing. Obviously the Redskins scored on the first team D, but looking at what they did in one quarter with a sack, multiple QB pressures, and a fumble recovery, along with multiple interception near-misses, the Defense looked fantastic. George Wilson’s play thoroughly impressed me as well, as his coverage was spot on. They forced multiple punts and three and outs, and I was as excited for them last night as if it were a regular season game. I was also impressed with the play of Arthur Moats and Shawne Merriman, and believe that these two will continue to do great things this preseason.
2. The offense looked jumbled at times. Miscommunications, rushed passes, and penalties killed the Bills. Chandler’s awesome catch towards the end of the first was probably the highlight, with Vince Young’s run towards the end of the game a close second. I think the refs did miss a call on third down in the 2nd- Stevie Johnson was interfered with clearly. I’m not too worried about any of this though, as this is the first preseason game, and with time comes chemistry. They let Fitz kind of run with it and see what was best for him as far as the playcalling was concerned, and I’ll wait to yell and criticize until a game matters.
3. Brian Moorman is still awesome. Five punts on the night, one outside the 20 yard line, and two downed inside the four… unless you count the phantom one that was apparently a touchback.
The refereeing was mediocre at best. How the hell do you call a touchback on a ball that lands FOUR FULL YARDS OUTSIDE THE END ZONE? There were also non-calls on many plays that looked highly questionable.
All in all, I think once Fitz institutes the running game and the Offense has a chance to gel some more, everything will be fine. It’s the first game of the frickin’ preseason and there’s no need to panic right now, but we’ll give it a few weeks before we start losing our collective shit.