DENVER, CO - AUGUST 20: Linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos sacks quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills for a loss at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 20, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Out of everything that went wrong for the Buffalo Bills in their 24-10 pre-season loss to the Denver Broncos on Saturday night, nothing was more disconcerting than the unacceptable play of starting left tackle Demetrius Bell.
In 31 offensive snaps last night - a much higher total than Chan Gailey planned to get in - Bell routinely struggled, particularly with speed off the edge, which rarely gave him problems in 2010. He gave up a sack to rookie Von Miller (pictured) on a pure speed rush, and Elvis Dumervil had his number all evening. We counted four snaps in which Dumervil beat Bell with ease; two of those plays led to Ryan Fitzpatrick throw-aways, Bell held on one that went uncalled, and Dumervil blew up a handoff to C.J. Spiller on another.
His problems didn't stop there, either. At least twice, Bell hit the ground trying to run block after tripping. He gave up a pressure to Robert Ayers that, along with a Marcus Easley drop, led to an interception. Twice, defenders had beaten Bell with inside moves - something he did struggle with last year - and would've registered hits had Fitzpatrick not already thrown the ball.
Buffalo is in enough trouble up front personnel-wise to have Bell struggle in this capacity. He's the unchallenged starting left tackle. If he doesn't improve vastly, it may not matter who else the Bills play up front.