In a very dull, 16-6 loss to the Lions, the Bills ended their preseason with improvements in some areas, but questions elsewhere. The defense played well for the most part, but the offense could not get going. But given that the starters only played in the first two drives and coming off of a short break one can almost forgive the Bills for tonight's performance. Now our attention turns to who will be cut in the upcoming week before the Bills head down to Arrowhead to face the Chiefs to kick off the 2011 season.
Run Offense: C-
With Fred Jackson having the night off and C.J. Spiller with only two carries (one for 27 yards though), the Bills runningbacks had mixed success. Johnny White coming off of a head injury struggled averaging only 1.5 yards a carry on 14 runs. Bruce Hall closed out the game with another strong performance averaging 6.3 yards a carry with the lone score for the Bills tonight. Only 90 total rushing yards though.
Blocking Offense: F
Once again inconsistencies plagued the line throughout the night. Bell was sketchy in pass protection while the backups struggled to push piles and protect the pocket resulting in Thigpen getting sacked 5 times. One of the more important aspects of the team, yet the personnel manning the edges need to be quicker.
Pass Offense: D-
Just when Fitz has Buffalo on cloud nine a week ago, the floor dropped between a few off throws and dropped balls. Fitz only went 2-5 for -1 yards on the night. Thigpen was not much better, going 12 for 21 for 92yards. Only Levi Brown, a likely cut, got the ball moving late in the fourth quarter going 5-9 for 83 yards. No picks by the QBs though. On a brighter note, the tight ends in general played well. Ruvell Martin and Kamar Aiken did well for the receiving corps with a pair of catches each, but Easley struggled with no catches tonight as did Buster Davis who went 6 for 38 yards and a few drops.
Run Defense: D
The Bills got the best of Best but when a few of the starters left, the Lions got the better of the D. Looking a bit like last year, the Bills surrendered 176 yards (over 5 yards a carry) on the night. Sheppard played a bit raw in action tonight but still led the team (with Antonio Coleman) with 5 tackles. The Bills backups need to make tackles right away when on the field.
Pass Rush Defense: F
Despite having Shawne Merriman back in the line up, the Bills got no sacks on the night. If this is what happens without Kyle Williams in the lineup, lets hope he stays healthy.
Pass Defense: B
Despite giving up an touchdown, the Bills secondary played well. Reggie Corner had his ups and downs in his playing time. Otherwise, pass defense could be a bit tighter, but not too shabby overall keeping the Lions to just 142 yards passing on the night.
Special Teams: C-
Brian Moorman showed why he has become a fan favorite having to punt the ball eight times averaging nearly 50 yards a punt. A missed 48 yard field goal by Lindell in the second quarter hurt. Punt coverage needs to be better, but on a brighter note, Justin Rogers averaged over 17 yards on 3 punt returns while Marcus Easley had two good kick returns.
Chan Gailey opted to keep his starters out for two drives hoping to get some production, but never saw it happen to the fullest extent. Still in a game for last chance impressions, cuts are going to be tough.
The Bills played without several wide receivers tonight which impacted the pass game poorly.
Which Bills player deserves the game ball? (note that I opted not to include starters as they only played two drives for the most part)
RB Bruce Hall (17 votes)
TE Zach Pianalto (2 votes)
LB Kelvin Sheppard (16 votes)
LB Antonio Coleman (14 votes)
P Brian Moorman (30 votes)
Other (please say who) (6 votes)
85 total votes