The Buffalo Bills’ first preseason game is in the books and it’s time to look at what is arguably* the most important facet of the game outside of the score: Penalties! Since we’re in preseason mode—which is all about internal evaluation—we have a slim version of the penalty recap to get us into the swing of things.
We’ll look solely at the Bills as this can be considered an extension of roster evaluation at this time of the year. In total, Buffalo was flagged nine times (two declined) for 67 yards. Based on last season’s averages, this would be a pretty ordinary day at the office.
Quinton Spain was the only player who negated yards via penalty, wiping out a seven-yard catch by Cole Beasley. Aside from that, it was a rare day in that the traditional stats of count and yards were almost the entire story. Back to Spain, this penalty occurred in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts’ best defensive players of the night. Grabbing the jersey just a little too long and spinning the player is an easy call for the refs.
De’Ondre Wesley and Vlad Ducasse were both called for a false start. The Bills parted ways with Ducasse, likely as a result of this penalty.
Kevin Johnson’s illegal contact was declined thanks to the Colts only being allowed to accept this or the defensive pass interference on Siran Neal. The 15-yard penalty is the easy choice. Both players are in consideration for starting positions so it’s less than ideal to be getting flagged against the Colts’ backups in the second quarter. Neal’s contact was early but not egregious. It also wasn’t a grab so the oven mitts may have been effective.
For the rest of the players, it’s unlikely their ultimate roster fate hinges on a penalty or two. And to be fair, none of them were all that bad. It’s officially football season everyone. Go Bills!
*Sure it’d be a terrible argument, but technically I could argue it.