The third preseason game of 2014 came and went and unfortunately there wasn’t a lot to be optimistic about as Bills fans. The starters played most of the first half, but it was the second unit that made it a game. It was a last second loss, which is never fun, even in a game that doesn’t mean anything. And if Sammy Watkins’ injury is at all serious, the offense, which has been struggling mightily to score, might be in even worse shape.
However, not all the points of emphasis I wrote down while watching this game were bad. The 10 quick observations from the Bills preseason loss to the Steelers has plenty of things Bills fans should be excited about.
1. The offense can move the ball – like Doug Marrone said in the post game press conference. The Bills ran 33 more offensive plays than the Steelers and gained 104 more total yards.
2. Someone needs to find the end zone. I don’t care who does it or what offensive position they play, we need to score.
3. Dan Carpenter is in for a great season if he keeps up this pace. Yes I know he missed one, but he redeemed himself shortly thereafter. After such a strong season last year, I’m all in on him.
4. The youth of the secondary was on display for a lot of the game.
5. The depth along the defensive line is incredible.
6. The defense may be even better than last year at creating turnovers and overall because of improved run defense specifically.
7. The Bills need to find a way to take more shots down field.
8. Robert Woods is emerging as the No. 2 WR.
9. I still wish the Bills had found a way to get Ryan Shazier after watching his performance, but our linebackers looked good.
10. Big TD plays, those of 40+ yards, will decide a lot of Bills games this season. Look at the box score and tell me the Bills shouldn’t have won… The difference is the Steelers got a big play and the Bills didn’t.
While there weren’t a lot of positives from this game, the fact the first team offense was able to move the ball on a traditionally sound defense like the Steelers is something to hang their hat on. I personally believe the red zone stuff will get figured out. There is too much talent and I have too much faith in Doug Marrone for it not too. That being said, my most accurate prediction from last week is unfortunately that red zone scoring is our biggest issue as a team.
Last Week’s Most Accurate Observation: “Squandering red zone opportunities will be this team’s Achilles heel – as I said in July” – 10 Quick Observations from the Bills Preseason Win Over the Panthers.
Reason: Being 1-for-4 in the red zone against Pittsburgh and not scoring a single TD by the first team offense kind of speaks for itself now doesn’t it?