Preseason Immediate Reactions: Bills 34, Colts 21

Naaman Roosevelt: "This is like the International Bowl, only no one cares."

(WECK 1230) — For once, a half of preseason football was fun and productive for Bills fans.

C.J. Spiller showed one of his already elite skills and Trent Edwards inspired double and triple takes with an uncharacteristic deep strike as the Bills rolled over the Colts, 34-21.

The specifics:

— Spiller’s ability to change direction is something we haven’t seen in these parts in a long, long time. While Marshawn Lynch can juke and Fred Jackson can turn on the jets, Spiller’s cuts are ankle breakers. His 31-yard touchdown jaunt was a beauty and you can bet was the main reason play action played a pivotal role in our next point.

— Edwards’ 69-yard touchdown connection with Lee Evans works on a number of levels. For one, the fourth-year quarterback needed to hook up on a deep ball for the sake of game chemistry with his No. 1 wide-out, let alone the confidence it could inspire to achieve such a feat during the course of a game. Going through Edwards game-high long balls has been brutal during the regular season, as he’s made less than a handful of 45-plus yard completions. This one could — I repeat could — be a nice step in a progression for Edwards, who turns 27 in October and was borderline abysmal against the Redskins.

— Stevie Johnson has so far struggled in his attempt to seize the No. 2 wide receiver position, this time only grabbing one ball for a measly two yards. The big man will need to make some moves to separate from coverage in the final two games of the preseason, as the job is still his to lose. Chad Jackson snagged a very respectable five balls for 52 yards to pace all Bills.

— The 3-4 again had its problems with big plays. Indy’s touchdowns were a 17-yard run and 21 and 43 yard passes. I said on the show Thursday that the linebackers have the most learning to do of all the Bills defensive players, and it’s not helping that the unit is among the team’s lesser in talent.

— Bruce DeHaven’s special teams units have a lot of learning to do as well. For the second-consecutive week, those who sung the praises of Bobby April have to be wondering if they’ll need to start hitting up karaoke bars in Philadelphia.

— Joique Bell not only has a fun-to-pronounce first name (JOYK!!), but is proving that he and not Chad Simpson will be the fourth running back once the full stable of backs is healthy.

— A nice night for the UB Bulls program. Naaman Roosevelt hauled in three balls for 22 yards for the Bills, while Jamey Richard got the start at guard for the Colts and undrafted free agent safety Mike Newton made four tackles for Indianapolis.

Stat line I enjoyed:
Brian Brohm, 14-of-21, 125 yards, one sack

— Give the kid credit: If Brohm had hit on a big play or a touchdown, we’d be talking about how he was better all-around than Edwards. No. 4 is making a claim to the No. 2 job, and Ryan Fitzpatrick had better keep it fresh in practice and against his former mates next week.

Stat line I didn’t enjoy:
Bills third down offense, 3-of-14
– That’s 4-for-23 this preseason. Yikes.

Game ball:
Spiller and Bell

It’s the preseason

Next Saturday:
The schedule makers did a favor to the 3-4 by scheduling three-straight solid quarterbacks for the Bills to battle. Look for Carson Palmer to have success and Terrell Owens to find the end zone for the Bengals.


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4 Responses to Preseason Immediate Reactions: Bills 34, Colts 21

  1. Why do you speak of Owens as if he’s still an elite WR. Hrmph.

    I was pleasantly surprised with Brohm today. Much improved from the ATL game. He made a few great reads in the long drive in the 2nd quarter, and showed he isn’t afraid to let his WRs make plays. He made the decision difficult between him and Fitz.

    Joique Bell MUST make this team. I don’t want to get carried away with his powerful inside the tackle running against scrubs, but this kid has been great all camp, and most importantly made two fine blitz pickups today.

    The long TD pass was all Evans. Trentative had no choice but to throw that, and he missed by a few yards. As long as he’s starting, this team isn’t going anywhere.

    The 3-4 was good against the run today, albeit vs. the worst running team in the league. My concern remains the pass defense. They specifically tried many Cover 2 and 3’s, which is a negative sign. Sure, McGee’s TD was nice, but these corners are not good in man-to-man.

  2. Did anyone catch the screwup Tasker made when talking about Levi, calling him Travis Brown? To his credit, five years ago he’d have the right emergency QB, though.

  3. I thought the same thing myself when Brown took the field last week. It happens. At least he didn’t keep screwing it up, like former Sabre Tyler Kennedy.