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Grading the Bills: Bills v Broncos (Preseason 2)

Words like massacre and annihilated come to mind when describing this 24-10 loss.  The Bills got some big bruises and took a step back in development playing against a more complete team than the Bears.  Fortunately it is still preseason and they can make some changes. Let the run down begin. 

Run Offense: B-

Fred Jackson again performed strongly averaging 8.5 yards a carry.  Also looking good were backup RB Bruce Hall who averaged 8 yards a carry in the second half and QB Brad Smith operating from the wildcat. C.J. Spiller could not get it going and Chris White got injured after one carry.  

Blocking Offense: F(-)

Whether it was the backups or the first line starters, the line was by no other means, atrocious.  The fact that the Broncos only got one sack stands a testament to Gailey relying on mobile QBs. Everyone from the interior lineman to the tackles performed poorly in both passing and the running game.   Bell could not keep up with Miller or Dumervill in particular and I would be shocked if Gailey does not bring in a top free agent by the start of the season as this group is struggling.

Pass Offense: D

With a poor offensive line to begin with, the QBs, particularly Fitz suffered.  Fitz was off all night (although an injury to Donald Jones did not help) and had an interception.  Tyler Thigpen played better than before but did not find his stride until the final drive ending in a touchdown to Felton Huggins.  Brad Smith went 4-4 showing his versatility in the wildcat.  TE Zach Pianalto and WR Marcus Easley did well in a lackluster pass game.

Run Defense: C

While at times they played well, inconsistency dogged the front seven.  Moreno averaged nearly 5 yards a carry, but the D limited McGahee to a yard a carry. Still looking better than they did last year, the defense surrendered just over 100 yards rushing.

Pass Rush Defense: D

Without "Lights Out" on the outside, the pass rush was not all that present last night.  On a brighter note, Marcell Dareus performed strongly again recording a sack as did OLB Robert Eddins.  Pressure should hopefully be more consistent with Merriman in the line up. 

Pass Defense: D-

The one bright spot was when Terrence McGee managed to pick off Brady Quinn.  Other than that, the Broncos QBs (who had a powerful pass game last year) had their way with the Buffalo secondary all night long.  So much for saturating the secondary with depth.  Injuries to LBs Shepp, Merriman and White hurt the Bills pass coverage.

Special Teams: B-

Moorman did well with his punting as did Reid Forrest.  Rian Lindell nailed his only field goal for the night while kicking only touchbacks for the Broncos to field.  (I really hate the new kickoff rule as it is taking some of the fun out of the game, but more on that later).  The Bills never got a chance to return a kick, but Da'Norris Searcy did alright on three punt returns.  Punt coverage was a bit shabby, but fortunately Moorman and Forrest kicked the balls deep enough to mitigate damage.

Coaching: D-

Chan Gailey still needs to tweak the offense to get it to be more productive and needs to effect changes across the line (center is the only sure position) before the season begins or else the Bills will end up drafting third again (probably not that bad, but still...).  The defense struggled a bit as well in part to injuries, but they cannot let that from properly defending the ball.

Other Notes:

A lot of injuries happened last night, hopefully none too serious, but it will be interested to see who steps up in the interim while they heal.  

Go Bills!!

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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